NHL Playoff Preview: Dallas at St. Louis, Game 3
On Tuesday night, the Dallas Stars at the St. Louis Blues square off in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series. The Blues evened up the series 1-1 with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 2 in Dallas. The Stars had been down 3-1 after the first period, but netminder Kari Lehtonen went to the bench in favor of Antti Niemi, and then the Stars roared back to tie the game 3-3. In overtime, Brian Elliott simply stood on his head as the Blues turned away a series of attacks before scoring the game-winner. Find the updated NHL betting odds here.
NHL Playoff Preview: Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues, Game 3
When: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 9:30pm Eastern time
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO
Radio: KTCK 1310 AM The Ticket Dallas
Live Stream: NHL-Stream.com
NHL Odds: TBA
Why should you bet on Dallas?
The Blues did take away home advantage in Game 2, but hockey is not as influenced by home ice as some of the other major sports are. The Stars were magnificent on offense, particularly in that third period, and they showed that they can swarm the goal. They probably would have had six or seven goals against a lesser goalie, but Brian Elliott showed that he is an elite goaltender once again. If the Stars go back to their Game 1 model — strong defense for 60 minutes that pushes forward into a swarming offense — they will win Game 3.
Why should you put your money on the Blues?
It was captain David Backes’ 32nd birthday when he tallied the overtime winner 10:58 into the extra frame on a power play, the second man advantage that the Blues were given during overtime. The Blues did a lot in the first period against a Stars defense that was having one of its forgetful periods, blowing coverage on the first two goals. The third goal was fairly soft on Lehtonen’s part, but the Blues deserve credit for getting the shot on net. The reason why the Stars lost was that first period, when the Blues took advantage of errors on the Dallas end. If the Stars do not figure out their defensive problems before Game 3, the Blues will repeat the result.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
It looks like Niemi will be in goal for Dallas on Tuesday night. When he is on, he is the better of the two Dallas netminders. I’m predicting a return to discipline for Dallas on defense, resulting in a 4-2 Stars win.