The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their Western Conference road trip with a stop in the Lone Star State. The Dallas Stars have won only two of their last 11 games and have fallen pretty far out of the playoff picture, but they’re coming off a 4-0 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
As you’ve probably heard, the Leafs have won six straight games. An interesting bit of trivia is the Leafs have faced five goaltenders who will represent their respective countries in Sochi during this streak. That trend will continue as the Leafs face Kari Lehtonen, who will represent Team Finland in the Games next month and owns a .915 save percentage in 41 games this season.
With the way these two clubs are playing, you would think the Leafs might be the heavy favourites. However, a look at Vegas Insider shows the Stars are actually the favourite on the money line. A look at their shot differential actually shows the Stars are seventh in the league in that statistic.
After the big win on Tuesday, you might say things are starting to look brighter for the Stars (no pun intended). Remember, the last time these teams played was December 5, when the Leafs allowed 50 shots but somehow escaped with the 3-2 overtime win thanks to the play of Jonathan Bernier.
Another thing to watch for is the two teams’ top lines going at it tonight. Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin are all young, big and talented, and could give the Leafs’ defense fits. It’ll be interesting how often Stars coach Lindy Ruff decides to go power-on-power and match that trio against the Leafs’ first line of Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk.
Call me a Negative Nancy, but I feel like this might be the game the Leafs fall off the wagon a little bit and the winning streak ends. The Stars are a better team than you might think. I’m going to predict a 4-2 win for the home team tonight. What do you think?
Remember, game time is at 8 ET since it’s in Texas. For more lineup and viewing information, check out our preview.
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GO LEAFS GOOOOOOOOOO!!!