It doesn’t get any better than this Blues vs. Stars Western Conference Semifinal matchup. St. Louis and Dallas were the top two teams in the conference in the regular season. Dallas had a conference-high 109 points, but St. Louis won four of their five regular season meetings.
Will the Stars’ incredible offense lead them past St. Louis’ strong goaltending? Or will the Blues use the momentum of beating last year’s Stanley Cup champions to make a deep playoff run? Read on as we take a look at Game 1 of this tasty playoff matchup.
For more on the second round of the NHL, check out our complete preview for the Predators vs. Sharks Game 1.
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Blues vs. Stars – Game One Round Two Preview
Where: American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX
When: Friday, April 29, 2016, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
Betting on the St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues have to be very confident heading into this game. They came off a very tough seven-game series against last year’s Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. They also dominated Dallas in the regular season, winning four of their five matchups.
What makes Elliott so good is his ability to thrive away from home. He went 12-4-3 with a 1.80 GAA away from home in the regular season. Goaltending will be a key for the Blues in this series. If they can find a way to negate the Stars’ Jamie Benn, then they may be able to steal this series against their Central Division rivals.
It’s not all goaltending, though. The Blues can rely on Jaden Schwartz to continue his high-level of play after leading the team with seven points in the first round. Vladimir Tarasenko wasn’t too far behind with six points from four goals and two assists. Tarasenko had four points in five games against Dallas in the regular season.
The Blues won seven of their last eight on the road. They’re -130 to win their series against Dallas.
Betting on the Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars survived a late Minnesota rally in Game 6 to secure their berth in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Stars took a 4-0 lead in the third period against the Wild, but allowed four goals before escaping as 5-4 winners. They’ll have to get their goaltending issues sorted out, facing the resilient St. Louis Blues.
The Stars may turn to goalie Kari Lehtonen for this matchup after he had a 2.27 GAA and .911 save percentage in four games against the Wild. Antti Niemi had a 3.36 GAA and a .877 save percentage in two games. Lehtonen went 1-0-1 with a 0.99 GAA and .955 save percentage in two games against St. Louis in the regular season.
Dallas is likely to remain without All-Star center Tyler Seguin due to a lower body injury suffered in Game 2 of the first round series against Minnesota. But the Stars still figure to have a solid set of forwards with Jamie Benn leading all NHL players with 10 points (four goals and six assists) in the first round of the playoffs. He’ll have some help from Jason Spezza, who was second with nine points (four goals and five assists).
The Stars have won eight of their last nine at home, including two in the playoffs. They’re +195 to win the Western Conference.
The Blues (EVEN) use their momentum to take Game 1.
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