NHL hockey action on Thursday evening and a pair of teams from the Central Division will square off as the Dallas Stars duke it out with the St Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in St Louis, Missouri. The Stars enter this contest off a 5-2 home loss to the Predators, while the Blues took out the Canadiens on the road by a score of 4-3. Goalie Probables: Ben Bishop will be getting the nod for the Stars in this one and he will be opposed by Jake Allen.
Stars Fall To Preds At Home To End Win Streak
The Dallas Stars have been a hot team of late as they have won five of their last six games, but that loss was in their last game as they fell 5-2 at home to the Predators. That loss snapped a five-game win streak that they were on and they must now try and get back on track against one of the best teams in the West. The Stars outscored their opponents 19-11 during their win streak, but just couldn’t keep it going against the Preds, who have now taken over the top spot in the Central Division. Scoring for the Stars in the loss was Stephen Johns, which was his 3rd of the year and Jamie Oleksiak, which was his 1st of the year. Both goals came in the 3rd when the Stars were already down 5-0. Dallas has gone 6-9 on the road. Taking the loss against the Preds was Ben Bishop, who allowed three goals on 15 shot attempts before being removed in favor of Kari Lehtonen, who allowed the final two goals in 17 shot attempts. Bishop is expected to be back in the crease for this one and he has now gone 13-8 with a 2.68 and a .910 save percentage on the year, while on the road he has gone 4-6 with 3.55 GAA and a .885 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 65-63 with a 2.50 GAA on the road and 57-50 with a 2.44 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Blues he has gone 1-6 with a 2.57 GAA.
Dallas has been solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 12th in the league in scoring at 3.04 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots taken (32.0 spg) and 13th in power play conversions, converting on 20.5% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been solid as they come in ranked 10th in goals allowed, giving up 2.86 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots allowed (29.4 spg) and 7th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.8% of their chances.
Schenn Lifts Blues Over Canadiens
The St Louis Blues have not really been playing all that well of late, but they did just grab a nice 4-3 road win over a hot Montreal team in their last game. That win broke a three-game slide that they were on. Brayden Schenn was brought in from Philly in the offseason to add more punch to their offense and he had a huge game against the Canadiens as he notched a hat trick in the one. One of his goals came at the 12:11 mark of the 3rd period and it was the game-winner. He has now scored 13 goals on the year, including eight in his last nine games. Also scoring in the win was Scottie Upshall, which was his 4th of the year. The Blue have been a solid home team as they have gone 9-5 here at the Scottrade Center so far. Grabbing the win against the Canadiens was Jake Allen, who stopped 22 of the 25 shots that he faced to improve to 14-8 with a 2.75 GAA and a .906 save percentage on the year overall, while here at home he has gone 8-3 with a 2.63 GAA and a .911 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 56-32 with a 2.25 GAA in his home games and 70-40 with a 2.34 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Stars he has gone 7-2 with a 2.29 GAA.
The Blues come into this contest ranked 7th in the league in scoring at 3.18 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots taken (34.5 spg) and 24th in power play conversions, converting on 17.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as the come in ranked 6th in goals allowed, giving up 2.71 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots allowed (29.7 spg) and 21st in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 21.8% of their chances.
- 5-13 in their last 18 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 3-9 in their last 12 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
St Louis is:
- 24-8 in their last 32 when their opponent scores two goals or less in their previous game
- 98-45 in their last 143 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
The Stars are off of a bad home loss to the Preds, while the Blues are off a nice road win against the Canadiens. Ben Bishop has not been very good at home, but on the road, he has struggled and he is just 1-6 with a 2.67 GAA in his career against the Blues. St Louis has played very well at home so far and Jake Allen has gone 7-2 with a 2.29 GAA in his career against the Stars. Dallas was playing well, but still, I feel that the Blues are the better overall team and the clincher is the fact that the Stars are just 2-7 in their last nine trips to the Scottrade Center.