Dallas Stars (21-14-4) at Arizona Coyotes (21-15-4)
NHL Hockey: Sunday December 29th 2019 at 8:00 PM EDT (Gila River Arena)
Lines and Odds: Arizona Coyotes -120
FREE NHL PICKS Arizona Coyotes vs Dallas Stars
Welcome to this Central vs Pacific Division matchup between the Dallas Stars and the Arizona Coyotes. The Stars are having a nice season. They started in the middle and towards the bottom of the division standings and now they are in third in the Central. Dallas has the best goals against in the Western Conference with 99 goals given up and they are 6-3-1 in their last ten games. The Stars goaltending has been a little off the last couple games, but they are still finding ways to win for the most part. Tyler Seguin leads the team in scoring with 31 points. The Coyotes are have a great season that not many people saw coming. Arizona was in first place for a little bit and now they are in second in the Pacific. They have the second best goals against in the West with 103 goals given up and they are 4-6 in their last ten games. Arizona has been in win-loss mode and they will try to get back on a winning streak and reclaim first place. Nick Schmaltz leads the team in scoring with 30 points. The starting goalies for this game are Anton Khudobin for Dallas and Antti Raanta for Arizona.
The Stars are coming off of a 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche. For the most part, this was a pretty evenly matched game. Both teams put up around 40 shots on net and the goalies had to be on top of their game. The Stars did well with the hits and winning a few key faceoffs. Dallas got some takeaways as well, but they gave the puckaway too easily at times. The power play went 1 for 5 and the penalty kill went 3 for 3. Seguin played very well by getting one goal and ten shots on net. After having two blowout losses, the Stars managed to escape another hit shot total game because of their goaltending. Dallas also continues to find a way to win the close games and the ones that go to extra time. The Stars will look to continue to get more zone time and quality chances, and limit the amount of good chances that the opponent is getting.
The Coyotes are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. Arizona survived the Knights good first period, but the game got away from them in the second period. With the loss, the Coyotes dropped out of first place and the Knights are the new kings. Arizona was beaten down with hits and they went to the box too many times. When that happens, the offense can get out of rhythm. This team realizes more on its goaltending than scoring, and they just had no response against the Vegas onslaught. The Coyotes did take care of the puck and only gave it away once. The plus/minus for Arizona wasn’t too bad and they just need to move the puck around a little better. The top guys need to create more scoring chances and they need to clean up their neutral zone play.
NHL Scores Dallas Stars vs Arizona Coyotes
So, who will win this matchup between two of the best defensive teams in the league? The Stars have been slowly moving up the Central division standings and the Coyotes are hanging around by the top, but they seem to be slowly falling back a bit. Both of these teams don’t score that much and win a lot of close games. However, both of these teams have had some slip ups lately with giving up a lot of goals. The bottom line is that these two teams are good at doing just enough to win and they don’t need a lot of scoring to do it. Whichever team scores on the power play might be the difference in the game because both teams need some work with the extra man on the ice. The Stars core players are more productive than the Coyotes key guys. With the goalies, Khudobin has the better numbers and he has won his last two starts. He also made around 40 plus saves in both of them. Raanta doesn’t get much goal support and that is why he has lost a fair amount of games. He hasn’t been too sharp in his last couple starts, but he might keep his team in the game. It should be a low scoring game that the Stars shine bright on. Stars win 2-1.