The Nashville Predators played well down the stretch of the regular season to claim their second straight Central Division title. Nashville’s reward in the first round of the playoffs is the Dallas Stars. They meet Game 1 Wednesday night in Nashville with the Predators solidly favored on the Stanley Cup Playoffs lines.
Stars vs Predators 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Spread & Game 1 Pick
It’s been 20 years since we lifted the #StanleyCupThe journey to hold it once again begins today. It’s time for some playoff hockey! #GoStars pic.twitter.com/hKPQwCAb0F — x – Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) 10 de abril de 2019
- When: Wednesday, 9:30 PM ET
- Where: Bridgestone Arena
- TV: USA Network
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Spread: Nashville Predators -1.5 (Total 5)
Nashville won 3-2 but each team scored exactly 14 goals. The last met Feb. 19 in Dallas and the Predators won 5-3. Filip Forsberg tied it 21 seconds after consecutive Dallas goals, and Josi put Nashville ahead with 12:25 left before adding an empty-netter for the win.
Josi skated from behind the net into the slot, and his wrist shot hit defenseman Esa Lindell’s stick and popped over goalie Anton Khudobin for a 4-3 lead. Lindell scored on the power play at 17:29 of the second, and Tyler Seguin put the Stars ahead 3-2 at 17:55. Forsberg tied it with 1:44 left in the period. Pekka Rinne made 36 saves to win for Nashville. Khudobin stopped 42 shots in the loss.
Why Bet on Dallas?
The Stars secured the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by putting together a 19-11-3 mark after the All-Star break, the 41 points during that stretch were the second most in the West.
Alexander Radulov has been named the third star of the week on Monday. Radulov had two goals and four assists in three games to finish the regular season. He ended the 2018-19 campaign with at least one point in each of his last eight outings. Radulov posted five goals and seven assists during that span. He scored a career-high 29 goals this past season while tying his previous best with 72 points in 70 games.
Dallas will have plenty of players making NHL playoff debuts on Wednesday night against Nashville, including rookie blueliner Miro Heiskanen. The Stars could have as many as seven players playing their first postseason contest. Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, Roope Hintz, Jason Dickinson, Tyler Pitlick, Taylor Fedun, and Justin Dowling may suit up in Game 1. Dallas will also have a rookie behind the bench in Jim Montgomery.
Stars goaltender Ben Bishop really upped his game over the final stretch of the season. The veteran goaltender has record six shutouts in his last 15 games, finishing the season with a 27-25-2 record, a 1.98 goals-against-average and a franchise record .934 save percentage. Bishop was 0-0-1 with a 4.80 goals-against average and a .853 save percentage against the Predators this season.
Talent-wise, Dallas has an elite first line, though Jamie Benn’s production has slipped this season (only 53 points, down from 79 last season). Tyler Seguin reached 80 points for the first time since 2013-14, his first season in Dallas. The Stars scored just 209 goals this season, third fewest in the league, and 89 of them (nearly 43 percent) came from the top line.
- Goals: 2.56
- Shots: 30.71
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.03
- Goals: 2.46
- Shots: 31.59
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.15
Why Bet on Nashville?
For the third time in NHL history, three teams from the same division could have won the title on the final day of the regular season. The other two times were in 2005-06 when the Rangers, Devils, and Flyers fought for Atlantic supremacy, and 2011-12 when the Coyotes, Kings, and Sharks did the same in the Pacific. On Saturday, the St. Louis Blues took over first for a few hours after beating the Canucks in a shootout. But the Predators overcame a 2-0 deficit for the second game in a row to top the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 and take the Central Division title for the second straight season.
Pekka Rinne was chosen as the NHL’s second star of the week. Rinne posted a 3-0-0 record with a 2.01 goals-against average and .935 save percentage during the period ending Apr. 7. He finished the 2018-19 campaign with a mark of 30-19-4, a 2.42 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and four shutouts. Rinne has five consecutive 30-win seasons, which ties him for the longest active streak with Devan Dubnyk and Braden Holtby.
Nashville hasn’t received the production it expected from players it traded for over the past two seasons, including second-line center Kyle Turris (23 points in 53 games), rental Wayne Simmonds (three points in 17 games) or Mikael Granlund (five points in 16 games). They’re still deeper than the Stars are. The Predators’ dazzling record of 35-4-1 when scoring a game’s first goal is a testament to their structure and team defense.
Nashville will win this series if they get production from beyond their first line of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson. The three accounted for 76 goals and 162 points.
The special teams advantage sides with Dallas. The Stars hold the NHL’s 10th ranked power play unit at 21 percent and a Top Five penalty kill at 83 percent. While the Predators can counter with a sixth-ranked penalty kill – just one percentage point off at 82 percent, it’s the 30th-ranked power play (13 percent) that compares poorly to the Stars’ man-advantage units.
- Goals: 2.93
- Shots: 32.66
- PP/PK Percentage: 13.33
- Goals: 2.61
- Shots: 29.99
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.86
Stars vs Predators 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Trends
- Road team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings
- Favorite is 39-19 in the last 58 meetings
- Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Nashville
- Dallas is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Nashville
- Dallas is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Dallas’s last 19 games on the road
- Nashville is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Nashville’s last 12 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Nashville’s last 12 games
Expert Final Score Prediction for Stars vs Predators
Dallas Stars 1 – Nashville Predators 2