Hockey Today May 14

Hockey Today May 14

Detroit will sweep out Stars
By Judd Hall

Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the Red Wings are good… Scary good.

Detroit moved out to a practically insurmountable 3-0 lead on the Stars in the Western Conference Finals with a 5-2 victory in Game 3.

The Wings were without their top playoff scorer Johan Franzen, who is “out” with concussion-like symptoms. That didn’t matter as Pavel Datsyuk notched his first career hat trick, which is surprising when you consider he was the team’s regular season scoring leader.

Mike Babcock’s crew also found a way to put the clamps on the Dallas’ offense by holding them to just 18 shots on goal. The Stars are averaging 27.8 SOG during the playoffs, but fired just four shots at Red Wing netminder Chris Osgood in the third period alone.

You can’t fault the Stars for a lack of passion. They knocked the Wings around every chance they could and it’s proven by out-hitting them 47-20 on Monday night.

Where Dallas failed was the inability to get the puck onto the stick of Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow more than they did in Game 3. The Stars’ top scoring pair accounted for just two shots on Osgood. Brad Richards (who is actually performing near where the team expected now) had three SOG, one of which lit the lamp. However, his goal was as much a fluke as it was a good score.

As bad as the Stars’ offense ran on Monday, much of the blame can be placed squarely on Marty Turco’s shoulders. The Dallas backstop appeared to have turned the corner after years of first round exits by going 8-4 with a 1.73 goals against average and 92.8 save percentage. Sadly all of that was a mirage once he took on Detroit. He has lost all three starts with a 3.69 GAA and stopping 87.2 percent of the shots coming his way in the West Finals.

Turco’s troubles stopping Detroit has put the Stars in the spot of having to come back from a 3-0 deficit…something that has happened in the NHL just three times in league history. But something tells me that Dallas should just try and get a lead in a game once in this series, which they haven’t done yet.

The injury bug is light for both teams right now with Dallas’ winger Jere Lehtinen (leg) is “day-to-day.” Meanwhile, Franzen didn’t travel with the Red Wings to Texas and is still expected to be “out” for the possible series clinching Game 4.

The puck drops at 8:00 pm EDT with Versus broadcasting the game nationally.

Gambling Notes:

-- The Wings have won five straight road playoff games after losing their first two in Nashville. Detroit is 20-17 away from Joe Louis Arena since the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

-- The sportsbooks have made Detroit a $1.65 road favorite (risk $165 to win $100) while the total stands still at five.

-- The Red Wings had watched the ‘under’ go 43-30 this year. During the postseason, however, they’ve seen the ‘over’ go 7-4-2…2-1-1 in the Western Conference Finals alone.

-- Detroit is 26-17 when listed as a road “chalk” this season, with the ‘under’ going 20-18-5.

-- Dallas is 9-10 in home games following up a lost at the American Airlines Center this year, with the ‘under’ posting a 10-8-1 mark.

-- The Red Wings are 3-1 in their last four games at Dallas since Nov. 2006. The ‘under’ is 3-1 during that time as well.

vegasinsider.com

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Wednesday's best NHL bet
COVERS.com

Detroit vs. Dallas +150, 5

When the Red Wings scored their second goal of Game 3 Tuesday night, you could almost feel the life get sucked out of the Stars.

Dallas had just scored 37 seconds earlier to tie the game at 1-1 late in the first period and the Stars fanatics went bananas after the Nicklas Grossman goal. You could almost sense a feeling in the arena that Dallas just might have a chance in this series after all.

The Pavel Datsyuk response at 15:50 of the first period erased those hopes as quickly as they had arisen and Detroit never really lost control of the game after that. The Wings went on to a 5-2 victory and they now lead the series 3-0.

The Stars are left wondering just what it takes to beat this team. They just might have blown the one advantage they had in Games 3 and 4 – home ice – and Detroit is looking practically unbeatable.

The Red Wings are now on a nine-game playoff winning streak, two shy of the NHL record.

It doesn’t look good for the Stars’ chances of halting that streak. Captain and team spark plug Brendan Morrow will be playing with a hurting arm at best after leaving Game 3 with a shoulder injury. If he’s not at full strength, Dallas isn’t far from hanging the skates up for the summer.

Pick: Detroit -170

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Detroit Red Wings vs. Dallas Stars

The Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars will both be gunning for a playoff victory on Wednesday when they meet at American Airlines Center.

Pavel Datsyuk had a hat trick as the Red Wings defeated the Stars 5-2 to take a 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference final on Monday night.

Detroit won as -125 road favorites as the game played over the 5-goal total listed by oddsmakers.

Henrik Zetterberg added a goal and two assists for the Red Wings, who got two helpers from Brian Rafalski in the win.

Brad Richards and Nicklas Grossman found the back of the net for Dallas, as the Stars were outshot 21-18 by the Red Wings.

Team records:
Detroit: 54-21-7
Dallas: 45-30-7

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 8-2
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Dallas are 9-1
After a win are 9-1

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After playing Detroit are 4-6
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Detroit is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Dallas
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Dallas
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas's last 7 games when playing at home against Detroit
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 6 games at home
Dallas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
Dallas is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games

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Dallas on the brink

It’s win or go home for the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night, as they face elimination at the hands of the powerful Detroit Red Wings.

The Red Wings won their ninth straight playoff game on Monday night, ripping Dallas 5-2 in Game 3 to take an almost insurmountable 3-0 series lead. Pavel Datsyuk picked an opportune time to score his first career playoff hat trick, as he sniped three to raise his postseason total so far to eight goals.

Henrik Zetterberg also had three points for Detroit with a goal and two assists, giving him 18 points in the postseason so far which leads the Red Wings. Zetterberg’s goal was the turning point for Detroit in the game, as it came shorthanded in the third period and killed any chance of a Dallas comeback.

Jiri Hudler also netted his third goal of the playoffs in the win and defenseman Brian Rafalski collected a pair of assists. Chris Osgood has a rather light night in nets for Detroit, stopping 16-of-18 shots.

The Red Wings played without playoff goal-scoring leader Johan Franzen, who missed his second straight game with concussion-like symptoms. With a 3-0 series lead Detroit has no reason to rush Franzen back for Game 4.

Brad Richards scored his third postseason goal for Dallas in the Game 3 loss, while Nicklas Grossman found the back of the net for the first time in the playoffs. Marty Turco had a rough night in the loss, as he allowed five goals on 21 shots. Stars’ playoff goal leader Brenden Morrow was held to only an assist in Game 3, and he left briefly in the third period with a twisted arm but returned to the ice later in the period and will be in the lineup in Game 4.

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Wednesday Playoff Gameday

Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars

The Stars impressed with series victories over the Ducks and the Sharks in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but it looks like they've met their match with the Red Wings in the Western Conference final. Detroit cruised to 4-1 and 2-1 victories at home in the first two games of this seven-game set, and they pushed their series advantage to 3-0 with a 5-2 road win on Monday. Pavel Datsyuk had a hat trick for the Wings in that win, while Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler had the team's other goals. Brad Richards and Nicklas Grossman scored for the Stars. Detroit forward Johan Franzen (head) and Dallas forwards Jere Lehtinen (leg) and Stu Barnes (head) all sat out Monday with their injuries.

The oddsmakers are looking for the Red Wings to pull off a sweep in Game 4 - they were listed as -165 favorites on the contest's early line. The total for the game was at 5.

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NHL LONG SHEET

DETROIT (65-23-0-7, 137 pts.) at DALLAS (53-36-0-8, 114 pts.) - 5/14/2008, 8:05 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
DETROIT is 11-4 (+6.2 Units) against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
DETROIT is 11-4-0 straight up against DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
8 of 13 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+2.8 Units)

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NHL SHORT SHEET

Western Conference Playoffs
Conference Finals
Game Four
Detroit Leads, 3-0
Detroit at Dallas, 8:05 ET

Detroit:
17-3 SU Away off road win by 2+ goals
25-4 SU off a road win scoring 4+ goals

Dallas:
21-9 Over after allowing 5+ goals
10-1 Over after having lost 5 or 6 of their last 7

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Trend Sheet

8:00 PM DETROIT vs. DALLAS
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Dallas
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit's last 7 games when playing on the road against Dallas
Dallas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 6 games at home

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