Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#33 Nashville Predators 5 vs.
#34 Dallas Stars -120
Monday, April 15, 2019 at 9:30pm EDT
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Written by Ricky Dimon

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#33 Nashville
#34 Dallas
48-36
44-40
48-36
44-40
33-47-4
24-50-10
2
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The Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators will contest a crucial Game 3 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Monday night. Nashville evened this Western Conference first-round series with an overtime victory on Saturday. The Stars had previously stolen Game 1 on the road.

All tied up

It may not have been an absolute must-win situation, but the Predators knew how daunting a challenge they would face if they lost the first two games of their Western Conference first-round series at home. Instead, they picked up a dramatic 2-1 overtime defeat of Dallas on Saturday, giving them renewed confidence heading into Game 3 on the road on Monday. Although Nashville dominated Game 2, the Central Division champs needed a goal from Craig Smith five minutes into OT to level the series at one game apiece.

“It’s a huge win for us; now we’ve tied the series and go in their building and have an opportunity to get the lead,” goalie Pekka Rinne commented. “Not too high, not too low, enjoy this, but also get ready for the next couple Dallas games.”

Smith, who has scored at least 21 goals in five of the past six seasons, emerged as the hero with his franchise-record (tied) third playoff game-winner. Nashville also got a huge contribution from a much less-heralded player in Rocco Grimaldi, a late addition to the lineup because Brian Boyle was dealing with an illness. Grimaldi recorded his first postseason goal and also first since Feb. 19.

“I think it’s a huge booster anytime he cracks in the lineup,” Rinne said of Grimaldi. “He’s always one of the bright lights out there. Again, he did a really good job.”

Power-play problems

The Stars were outshot by a nearly two-to-one margin during Saturday’s setback but they headed home with a mission-accomplished mindset after a 3-2 victory in the series opener.

“It’s a seven-game series,” center Tyler Seguin noted. “We came into Nashville wanting to get one, wanting to steal one on the road. We did that. We’re excited to get home and play in front of our fans.”

Despite captain Jamie Benn scoring the opening goal, Dallas managed only 23 shots on net and struggled badly on the power play, failing to capitalize on any of its six chances with the man advantage.

“You go 0-for 6…you get a couple of good chances–but you’ve got to come through,” head coach Jim Montgomery admitted. “We need to think shot first. We’re all looking at the next play instead of looking to score. That’s not only power play but also 5-on-5.”

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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No update was available on Sunday regarding Predators foward Wayne Simmonds, who exited Game 2 after taking a shot off the knee. Dallas goalie Ben Bishop delivered another stellar performance in net in Game 2 and has stopped 70 of 74 shots through two contests. The Stars are 5-1 in their last six home games against teams with winning road records and 5-2 in their last seven conference quarterfinal contests.

Prediction: Dallas Stars

Full-Game Total Pick

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Rating:

This game is one of the almost unheard of cases in which the total is at 4.5. Regardless of how well the two goalies are playing, that is simply too low. The over is 3-1-2 in the Stars’ last six conference quarterfinal contests. It is also 6-0 in Nashville’s last six trips to Dallas. Look for this one to go over the total.

Prediction: Over

Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.