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Dallas vs. Minnesota Prediction,
Preview,
and Odds - 3-14-2019

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#13 Dallas
Stars 5
#14 Minnesota
Wild -120

Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 8:08pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Dallas Stars

36 - 33

36-33
ATS
20-41
O/U
2
PPG
2
OPPG

Minnesota Wild

33 - 37

33-37
ATS
28-36
O/U
2
PPG
2
OPPG

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Featured Video from Scott Steehn

Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild

When and Where: Thursday, March 14, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn., 8:05 p.m. EST.

In a huge game with playoff implications in the Central Division, Ben Bishop goes for his fourth straight shutout as the Dallas Stars try to open a five-point lead over the Minnesota Wild in the race for wild-card spots when they collide Thursday night.

Bishop excommunicating pucks during shutout streak

Dallas (36-28-5) is fourth in the Central Division and currently holds the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 13 games remaining. The Stars are also just two points behind the St. Louis Blues for third place and direct postseason qualification.

The Stars continue to ride Bishop’s hot goaltending as their primary means of staying in playoff positions. Bishop recorded his third consecutive shutout, running his scoreless streak to 204 minutes and 20 seconds after making 35 saves in a 2-0 blanking of Buffalo on the road Thursday night.

He has the second-longest shutout streak in franchise history, trailing only Ed Belfour’s standard of 219:26 established in November 2000. Bishop has turned aside 104 shots in holding opponents scoreless for 10 consecutive periods and gotten plenty of help from his penalty killers, who have gone 15 for 15 short-handed over the last five games.

The Stars netminder has not blanked the Wild this season, but he has held them in check. Bishop is 2-1-0 with a 1.31 goals-against average this season, yielding just four goals on 88 starts. Bishop is 4-4-0 with a 1.73 GAA and .938 save percentage in eight starts and nine lifetime appearances versus Minnesota.

Offensively, rookie Roope Hintz provided the offense with his first two-goal game. The goals came in a 5:43 span of the second period, with the latter coming on the power play.

Wild trying to get back on track, avoid third straight loss

Though Minnesota (33-29-8) is three points behind Dallas, it is closer to Arizona in the second wild-card spot and enters this contest one back of the Coyotes with 12 games remaining.

Minnesota was on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline against San Jose on Monday night, falling to 1-2-2 in its last five games. The power play again sputtered, failing to convert in three chances as the Wild’s drought on the man advantage extended to 18 chances spanning the last six games.

That was a point of focus in practice with the extra practice time before this game.

“It certainly does, not being able to practice the power play, we haven’t had a power-play goal since after Winnipeg and that was after the trade deadline,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the Wild’s official website. “So hopefully tomorrow we can end that streak.

“When we get it set up and make plays, we’re getting a lot of chances; we’re just not scoring, but what we’re not doing is getting second chances, so retrievals are vital in this game,” Boudreau said. “Winning the faceoffs or the first faceoff is vital, and it’s something we’ve been lacking lately.”

Boudreau has not officially named a starting goaltender, but Devan Dubnyk is expected to be between the pipes. He finished with 26 saves in Monday’s loss, which was an improvement after Boudreau yanked him at the first intermission after allowing three goals on nine shots versus Florida.

Dubnyk has nearly matched Bishop save for save in the three meetings between the teams in 2018-19, giving up five goals and stopping 87 of 92 shots while going 1-1-1 with a 1.63 GAA and .946 save percentage. Dubnyk is 8-9-3 with a 2.66 GAA lifetime versus the Stars.

Luke Kunin is expected to return after a two-game absence with an upper-body injury, but fellow forward Joel Eriksson Ek will be sidelined at least one week with a lower-body injury.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Goaltending and defense matter in playoff pushes, and the Stars have both of them in droves heading into this matchup. Bishop is turning aside everything he sees, and his defense is helping him out on special teams and overall. Minnesota has been struggling at home, and the expectation is Bishop will at least set a new franchise shutout streak while leading Dallas to another win.

Prediction: Pick: Stars +104

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The teams have combined for 11 goals in the three matchups this season, so the under would have been trending for this game before factoring in Bishop becoming a wall and the Wild’s power-play woes. The number was properly adjusted by the sports books, which makes it a confidence pick in taking the under.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 5 goals

Full-Game Prop Bet
Rating:

This is a confidence pick in Bishop at the very least keeping the Wild to one or two goals, though it would not surprise anyone if he pitched a fourth straight shutout. Minnesota has scored two or fewer goals in its last five home games, getting blanked three times in that span.

Prediction: Pick: Wild UNDER 2.5 goals

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

Part of this is riding Bishop’s torrid form, but the teams also have failed to score a first-period goal in their three previous meetings this season. Dallas has yielded just five opening-period goals in its last 10 games but also recorded seven goose eggs in that run. Minnesota has been equally stingy when removing the three goals allowed in the road loss to Florida, holding teams to three first-period goals in the other nine contests of its last 10.

Prediction: Pick: Stars +0.5 goals (-210)

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

To repeat from the previous box: Zero goals in the previous three matchups between the teams this season. ZERO. GOALS. And a goaltender riding a 200-plus minute shutout streak in Bishop. The under is the play.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 1.5 goals (-180)

Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73)

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.

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