When Florida Panthers hosted Dallas Stars earlier this season, the usually defensively excellent Stars allowed seven goals. They look for payback on Thursday night as the Panthers visit Dallas in the final meeting of the season between the teams. The home side is favored on the NHL odds for the Panthers vs Stars.
Panthers vs Stars 2020 NHL Game Preview & Betting Odds
- When: Thursday, 8:30 PM ET
- Where: American Airlines Center
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Opening NHL Lines: Stars -135. Panthers +122 (total 5.5)
Panthers vs Stars Season Series
Florida leads 1-0, trashing the Stars 7-4 on Dec. 20. The Panthers’ Noel Acciari had a natural hat trick doing so in a team-record 3:59 span. He began the run at 7:26 of the second and struck again at 7:58. He then slipped a penalty shot through goalie Anton Khudobin’s pads with 8:35 left in the period to make it 7-1. Acciari got the short-handed penalty shot after he was hooked by John Klingberg on a breakaway. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and three assists for Florida, and Vincent Trocheck added a goal and two helpers. Anton Stralman and Colton Sceviour also scored, Aleksander Barkov had two assists, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves. Tyler Seguin scored twice for Dallas, Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn also scored, and Corey Perry had two assists. Ben Bishop allowed six goals on in 20 shots in 27:58, and Khudobin stopped 12 shots in relief.
Why Bet on Florida?
Florida has helped its playoff chances with back-to-back wins. It was a 2-1 upset in St. Louis – a very tough place to win – on Monday. Chris Driedger allowed one goal on 27 shots. Driedger has played in three games since returning from injury and he’s gone 2-0-1 during that stretch and he’s given up just four goals during that stretch. He owns a 7-2-1 record with a 2.05 goals-against-average and a .938 save percentage this season. He’s starting while Sergei Bobrovsky recovers from a lower-body injury. He was hurt during the pregame warmup on March 1 game to a match against Calgary.
Brett Connolly and Mike Hoffman had the two Florida goals. Connolly gave the Panthers a 2-1 advantage at the 4:23 mark of the third period. That goal proved to be the game-winner. He finished the night with a plus-1 rating and two shots on goal in 13:02 of ice time. The 27-year-old has 19 goals and 33 points in 69 games. It was Hoffman’s 29th goal of the year.
Evgenii Dadonov assisted on Hoffman’s game-tying goal. That snapped Dadonov’s six-game point drought. He has 25 goals and 47 points in 69 contests this season. Fellow blueliner Anton Stralman has been cold offensively lately and is pointless over his last 10 games. Florida is 4-4-2 over that span. After sitting as a healthy scratch for six straight games, defenseman Josh Brown returned Monday and received 13:41 of ice time.
Center Brian Boyle didn’t play. Coach Joel Quenneville said that the team is “counting on him on the road trip,” which suggests Boyle is getting closer. He hasn’t played since Feb. 1 due to an upper-body injury.
- Goals: 3.35
- Shots: 32.57
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.13
- Goals: 3.3
- Shots: 32.28
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.39
Why Bet on Dallas?
The Stars are hurting their playoff chances on a six-game skid. They were upset 4-2 at home by the New York Rangers on Tuesday. Dallas allowed a goal-less streak to reach 175:39, gave up the quickest goal of the season, and lost for the third straight game on home ice.
“We’re going to have to change something,” said captain Jamie Benn. “In the last six games here, it’s not working. We’ve got to prepare better, and I think we’re preparing well as a team. Individually, we might have to change things up. You’ve got to look at how you prepare for a game.”
Mike Zibanejad got his 10th goal in five games to give him 40 for the season to lead the Rangers. It was Zibanejad’s 40th goal in only 56 games this season after missing time with an injury. Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko scored twice in the second period for his first goals in a month, and fellow rookie Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves.
Miro Heiskanen picked up a pair of assists in the loss. Heiskanen had a power-play assist on Roope Hintz’s goal early in the third and he had primary helper on Andrew Cogliano’s marker midway through the final period. Heiskanen snapped a four-game scoreless skid in style, posting his first multi-point performance since Feb. 16 in Ottawa. The entire Dallas team has only nine goals in the last five games.
Ben Bishop allowed four goals on 27 shots. Bishop has dropped a season-high four games in a row, slipping to 21-16-4 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .920 save percentage across 44 appearances this season. Anton Khudobin might be tabbed for the start Thursday against the Panthers, as he has been more consistent of late.
- Goals: 2.61
- Shots: 30.62
- PP/PK Percentage: 21
- Goals: 2.57
- Shots: 31.52
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.35
Panthers vs Stars Game Trends
- Over is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in Dallas.
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Favorite is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Home team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Panthers vs Stars Expert Prediction
Stars 4, Panthers 2