Hockey Today May 17

Hockey Today May 17

Saturday's best NHL bet
By COVERS.com

Dallas vs. Detroit -270 5

Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom does a lot of things that drive opponents crazy. He gets in goalies’ faces. He wrestles with defensemen. He wreaks havoc in front of the net and in the corners.

But one thing he did not do in Wednesday night’s Game 4 is stand in the crease when Detroit apparently scored a goal at 7:34 of the second period on a power play. The goal was unjustifiably waved off and it would have given the Wings a 1-1 tie heading into the third period.

Instead, the home Stars carried all the momentum into the third and ended up avoiding the series sweep in a 3-1 win.

Now the Wings are monster favorites as the series swings back to Detroit, and rightfully so.

Though the Red Wings will be without their top playoff goal scorer for Game 5, Johan Franzen, they will be back on home ice, where they have been unbeatable these playoffs. Detroit is now 7-0 in this postseason at Joe Louis Arena and the 1:30 p.m. ET game time won’t help Dallas any, accustomed to a Central Time location.

The Holmstrom goal that was waived off was a huge break that the Stars won’t be able to count on again. Don’t be shocked if you see some scoring from unexpected places from the Red Wings as they cruise on to the Stanley Cup finals.

Pick: Red Wings – 1½

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Hockey Today

Dallas at Detroit (1:30 p.m. EDT). The Red Wings failed to sweep the Stars after Dallas posted a 3-1 victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

For the second time in the playoffs, Pittsburgh will have the home-ice advantage in eliminating an opponent when they face Philadelphia in Game 5 on the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday. The Penguins own an 11-2 record in the playoffs, including a 7-0 mark at home and have won 15 straight at Mellon Arena. After taking a 3-0 lead over the New York Rangers in the second round, Pittsburgh was beaten in Game 4 before it wrapped up that series at home in its next chance.

WINLESS IN DETROIT

Nobody wants to keep Dallas alive in the Western Conference finals more than Stars goalie Marty Turco. Turco, who starred at Michigan and played at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena in college, is 0-9-2 in 11 NHL decisions in Detroit, including 4-1 and 2-1 losses in the first two games of this playoff series against the Red Wings. Detroit, 7-0 at home and 11-3 overall in the playoffs, owns a 3-1 lead in the series and can earn a spot in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since winning a title in 2002 with a win in Game 5 on Saturday.

STAYING ON

Florida reached an agreement with Jacques Martin on Friday to remain with the Panthers as general manager through the 2011-12 season. Martin, who said the two jobs were too much for one person, was stripped of his duties as head coach last month, but said he would stay on as general manager. Martin became coach in 2004 and took over as general manager in 2006, replacing Mike Keenan.

SPEAKING

``Being physical is a huge part of our game. ... I think the biggest thing is the matchups and getting who you want on the ice against certain players.'' - Philadelphia forward Mike Richards on how the Flyers need to play against Pittsburgh's top goal scorers. Philadelphia stayed alive in the playoffs with 4-2 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

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Dallas Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings

The Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at Joe Louis Arena.

The Stars avoided a four-game sweep in the Western Conference Finals with a 3-1 win over the Red Wings in Game 4 on Wednesday, as +155 underdogs. The four goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Loui Eriksson, Mike Modano and Brenden Morrow scored for the Stars. Marty Turco was outstanding, making 33 saves.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the lone goal for the Red Wings, who were favored at -175 in that game.

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

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

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Dallas are 8-2
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Dallas is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Dallas is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
Dallas is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Detroit
Dallas is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Detroit
Detroit is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Detroit is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
Detroit is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Dallas
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Dallas

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DALLAS (54-36-0-8, 116 pts.) at DETROIT (65-24-0-7, 137 pts.)

Top Trends for this game.
DETROIT is 34-10 ATS (+11.9 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
DALLAS is 21-16 ATS (+40.5 Units) in a road game where where the total is 5 or less this season.
DALLAS is 37-19 ATS (+12.2 Units) on Saturday games over the last 3 seasons.
DALLAS is 22-13 ATS (+6.6 Units) after a win by 2 goals or more this season.
DALLAS is 27-21 ATS (+50.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
DALLAS is 19-13 ATS (+33.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
 
Head-to-Head Series History
DETROIT is 11-5 (+4.5 Units) against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons 
DETROIT is 11-5-0 straight up against DALLAS over the last 3 seasons 
9 of 14 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+3.8 Units)

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SHORT SHEET

Western Conference Playoffs
Conference Finals
Game Five
Detroit Leads, 3-1
Dallas at Detroit, 1:35 ET

Dallas:
2-6 SU at Detroit
10-2 Over after having lost 5 or 6 of their last 7

Detroit:
22-5 SU revenging a loss where team scored 1 or less goals
27-4 SU at home after having won 3 of their last 4

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Trend Sheet

1:30 PM  DALLAS vs. DETROIT
Dallas is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Dallas is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Detroit
Detroit is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
Detroit is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home

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