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A fresh week is certainly welcomed as I encountered by first rough stretch of the season last week. Sometimes the bounces just don’t go your way as I lost two heartbreakers in my most recent set of picks released last Thursday night. I had the Flyers winning at home against the Wild, and it looked like that was a possibility after Philly tied the game with under five minutes remaining, only to see the Wild score the go ahead marker with under a minute to go in regulation, thus sinking my pick. Later in the night we had the Kings to win by at least two goals over Carolina, and that also seemed like it could very well happen as the Kings lead 3-2 and had over two minutes to score into an empty net, however it was not meant to be and the Kings won by just a single tally. Those are losses that could have gone either way, and that is just how things go in the betting world. We will get back on track tonight with seven games on the NHL schedule.
Edmonton Oilers @ Dallas Stars
My Pick – STARS -1.5 (+160)
The Oilers begin a three-game road trip tonight when they travel to Dallas tonight for the first of three tilts this season between the Stars and Oilers. It is once again a rough season for the Edmonton Oilers and everything came to a head Saturday night when Edmonton was pounded 7-1 by the Chicago Blackhawks in Oil Country, which caused the fans to boo the Oilers mercilessly as they came off the ice at the end of the game. The Stars are currently trending in the opposite direction as they have won back-to-back games on home ice after dropping a whopping nine of its first ten games at home to begin the season. The losing at home trend can only go for so long before a team with Dallas’ talent puts it together like they are more than capable of. The Stars problem both at home and on the road this season has been keeping the puck out of their own net as they have given up way too many goals this season, or 3.38 per game to be exact. The good news tonight is they are playing one of the only teams that are behind them in that category, playing against an Oilers team that spots the opposition 3.48 goals per game while scoring just 2.33 goals per game themselves. Edmonton has the weakest goaltending tandem in the league this season, which is certainly exposed even more due to their lack of talent on the blueline. Ben Scrivens is 4-9-1 with a scary 3.35 goals against average and a .887 save percentage as Edmonton’s primary goaltender this season, and Victor Fasth has similar numbers with a 3.37 goals against average and an .890 save percentage in just eight games so far this season. Scrivens allowed the first two shots to get behind him in Saturday’s blowout loss, so Fasth could be leaned on tonight despite not stopping the bleeding in that contest. After going 11 games without a goal, Jamie Benn has managed six points over his last three games and was named the NHL’s third star of the week last week. This is bad news for Oiler fans due to the fact that as Benn and Tyler Seguin go, so do the Stars. I fully expect the Stars to pepper whoever is in net for Edmonton tonight as the Oilers are extremely vulnerable at the moment, especially against a team that is heating up on home ice. Take Dallas to be the latest team to pummel the Oilers tonight from the American Airlines Center.