Golden Knights vs. Stars Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Stars are the heavy favorite at home, as they are getting odds of -240 to win, while the Golden Knights are listed with a money line of +200 to win. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 5.5 goals. These two meet from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Tonight’s contest will air live on the NHL Network.
The Knights are making their debut tonight. During the expansion draft, the team selected Marc-Andre Fleury to be their starting goaltender. Fleury has spent his career with the Penguins, but lost his starting job during the playoffs last year. He had a 3.02 GAA and .909 save percentage in 2016-17. Offensively, one of their top additions is Jonathan Marchessault, who is in his fourth year and posted 30 goals with 21 assists for the Panthers last season. The team also has wing James Neal, who had 23 goals and 18 assists for Nashville last season.
The Stars are coming off a disappointing 2016-17 season in which they went just 34-37-11 overall while posting a 22-13-6 record at home. The Stars gave up 262 goals, which was the second-most in the NHL. The team was busy in the offseason, signing wing Alex Radulov from the Canadiens and center Martin Hanzal from the Wild. Radulov had 18 goals and 36 assists last season while Hanzal had 20 goals and 19 assists. Hanzal is questionable tonight with an ankle injury. Tyler Seguin led the team last season with 26 goals and 46 assists.
The Knights aren’t likely to look great in the early going, as they are relying heavily on unproven talent. Starting the season on the road won’t help either. Look for sloppy play from the Knights. Dallas should be able to control the puck for most of the game and get goals past Fleury. I don’t see Dallas doing enough to hit the over, while Vegas could be lucky to sneak in a goal or two.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: GOLDEN KNIGHTS/STARS UNDER 5.5