Red Wings at Stars Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 4/27/2013
The NHL's current longest postseason drought will end this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004. The Detroit Red Wings have the longest active playoff streak in the four major American pro sports at 21 straight seasons. That is on the line Saturday in Dallas as the Wings finish their final season in the Western Conference ahead of next season's realignment, which, awesomely, will pair the rival Wings and Leafs in the same division. Gas was on average $1.34 a gallon the last time Detroit missed the playoffs, by the way.
It's pretty simple for Detroit (54 points): beat the Stars and the Wings are in, either as the No. 7 seed against Anaheim or No. 8 against Chicago. Will all due respect to the Ducks, I think most fans -- and certainly TV executives -- would love to see one final Red Wings-Blackhawks series as those two long-time rivals are split into separate conferences next year.
I am writing this before Minnesota hosted Edmonton on Friday night, a game the Wild should win. They are No. 8 in the East with 53 points and finish their season Saturday night at Colorado. No. 9 Columbus also has 53 points and finishes Saturday at home against Nashville, a game the Jackets should win.
A win for Detroit against Dallas or simply getting to overtime gets the Wings in. A Blue Jackets loss also would get Detroit in regardless of its game; two Minnesota losses also would do the trick. If the Red Wings and Columbus finish tied, Detroit takes the first tiebreaker, which is combined regulation and overtime victories (21-18 edge currently). For what it's worth, the puck is dropped at 7 p.m. ET on the Columbus game, 7:30 on the Minnesota game Saturday and 8 on the Wings-Stars game.
Red Wings at Stars Betting Story Lines
Dallas would no doubt love to play spoiler here because Detroit's 5-2 home win over Nashville on Thursday officially eliminated the Stars from playoff contention. Ironically, Dallas was eliminated from playoff contention on the final Thursday of last year's regular season as well by losing 2-0 to the Predators.
Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists, Johan Franzen had a goal and an assist (his seventh goal in the past seven games), Henrik Zetterberg had two assists (seven assists in past three games), and Valtteri Filppula scored his 100th career goal in Detroit's win over the Preds. Franzen was “iffy” for the game after missing the final few minutes of Wednesday night's 3-1 win over Los Angeles because of an undisclosed injury. The Wings have won three straight, with goalie Jimmy Howard stopping 77 of 80 shots in that span. He could be gassed by the time the playoffs start, having played in 41 of Detroit's 47 games (and certainly Saturday) and 14 in a row.
The Stars are in a late-season fade just like last year, having lost four straight and five of six. Frankly, management never expected a playoff run after dealing the likes of Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow before the Trade Deadline. Dallas was beaten 3-1 at home by Columbus on Thursday. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Stars knew by the third period of that game that they were out of the playoffs. Columbus scored twice in that period to break a 1-1 tie. Jamie Benn had the lone Stars goal, his fourth in the past six games. Dallas has missed the playoffs for five straight seasons, the longest drought in franchise history. Only Edmonton and Winnipeg have current droughts as long.
Detroit and Dallas have split two meetings, both in Motown. On Jan. 22, the Stars won 2-1 behind two goals from Michael Ryder -- since traded to Montreal for Erik Cole -- and 39 saves from Kari Lehtonen. It was Detroit's first home game of the season. A week later, the Wings won 4-1 behind two goals from Filppula and 25 saves from Howard.
Red Wings at Stars NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Detroit opened at -131 and Dallas 119 with the total at 5. The Wings are 17-24-6 “over/under” (9-10-4 on road) and have won four of their past five as the favorite. The Stars are 24-18-5 O/U (13-9-1 at home) and have lost three straight as a dog.
The Wings are 6-1 in their past seven playing on one day of rest. Detroit is 4-1 in its past five after allowing two goals or fewer in the previous game. The Stars are 5-0 in their past five when their opponent scores five goals or more in its previous game. The Stars are 2-5 in their past seven when score two goals or fewer in their previous game. The under is 7-1-2 in Detroit's past 10 overall. The over is 10-2-2 in Dallas' past 14 games playing on one day of rest. The under is 4-0 in the past four meetings. Detroit has won five of the past six meetings.
Red Wings at Stars Picks and Betting Predictions
Interesting motivation on both sides, especially as Detroit should know what needs to be done by the third period. I would imagine the Wings would like to avoid the Blackhawks if possible and get the No. 7 seed if Minnesota complies. Dallas, meanwhile, will give its all in front of the home fans to close out the season. I really see no way the Wings don't get at least a point here even though they have lost three of their past four road games. They were 2-0 in Dallas last year, winning each by a goal. Take the Wings and the under.
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