Dallas Stars vs Pittsburgh Penguins - Odds and Predictions

How to Watch

Where: PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA.

When: Friday, October 18, 7PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Southwest, AT&T Sportsnet | WFAN

Be sure to also check out our article on the 2020 Stanley Cup Favorites!

Dallas Stars (Away)

Head Coach: Jim Montgomery{All-Time 44-38-8 DAL}

The Dallas Stars did not get off to the start that many fans and pundits expected of them. Heading into Friday night’s game, the Stars have a season record of just 1-6-1, having lost their last four games in a row. The season is still young but it is ultimately worrisome for a team heading into enemy territory to take on a team who has won their last four games.

Offense

For a team that boasts an offensive core that includes Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov, the Dallas Stars are 31st – second-to-last in the league – when it comes to their goals-per-game average; just 1.88. They have scored the tenth-least amount of total goals at a combined 15. That’s not for lack of trying. The Stars’ shots-per-game average sits at just 28 – good enough for 26th in the NHL and their shooting percentage ranks even lower at 28th in the league, with a team shooting percentage of just 6.7 percent. The team’s powerplay unit isn’t helping them much either as the Dallas Stars currently have the 29th-ranked power play in the league with just a 4.17 percent success rate. The positive for the Stars has been their faceoff percentage and ability to start the play with the puck. Dallas has the tenth-best faceoff percentage in the league with a 52 percent. However it should be noted that Pittsburgh ranks ahead of them at number six with a 52.6 percent.

Defense

On the other side of the spectrum, and somewhat unexpectedly, the Dallas Stars defense has been showing positive signs. The team has struggled to win, but it’s not for a lack of defensive effort. Even with top-four defenseman Roman Polak out with injury, the Stars have still put up respectable numbers when it comes to their blue line. They rank 17th in the league in penalty killing with an 80.6 percent kill rate. They also rank at number-14 when it comes to taking penalties, averaging eight minutes per game. Shockingly, the Stars rank third in the entire league when it comes to allowing shots, averaging an allowance of just 28.3 shots against per game. The fact that they allow the 16th-most goals against points more towards shakey, and uncharacteristically poor goaltending by Ben Bishop.

Goaltending

Coming off of a season that saw him finish second in Vezina voting, Ben Bishop has struggled so far this year. He has started six of Dallas’s eight games and has put together a record of just 1-4-1. His goals against average so far this season sits at a surprising 2.83 and his save percentage is even more shocking, sitting just below .900 with .899.

1
DraftKings
  • tick markAvailable in most states
  • tick mark$10 welcome bonus

Pittsburgh Penguins (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Sullivan{All-Time 249-150-15-57 PIT, BOS}

As previously mentioned, the Pittsburgh Penguins are currently riding a four-game winning streak. Sidney Crosby has stepped up, as he is known to do, amidst the injuries of teammates Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad (among several others) and has continued to put pucks in the net and his team ahead on the scoresheet. The season is young but the way this team is playing doesn’t bode well for their opponents – especially on home ice.

Offense

Despite long-term injuries suffered by top players like Evegeni Malkin, as previously mentioned, the Penguins are winning hockey games. The Penguins head into Friday night’s game ranked third in the league in combined goals scored with 28 so far this season and third when it comes to their goals-per-game average which sits at an even four. As previously mentioned, the Penguins rank sixth in the league with a 52.6 faceoff win percentage. The team has taken the sixth most shots in the league, averaging 33 per game, giving them a team shooting percentage of 12.1. Team captain Sidney Crosby has helped to carry his team to victory and he currently has the fifth-most points in the NHL, scoring four goals and adding eight assists for a total of 12 points.

Defense

Like the Dallas Stars, the Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves a little more in the middle of the pack when it comes to defensive statistics. They aren’t playing poorly, but there is room for improvement. Their most troubling aspect is the team’s penalty killing. Not only are they averaging over eight minutes per game in penalties but they have only been able to kill 82.4 percent of them – ranking them at 17th in the league. They also allow the 11th-most shots against, with an average shot allowance of 30.7. Luckily the goaltending is strong so far this season and the team only has an average goal allowance of 2.57. Only 18 goals have gotten past a Penguins netminder this season.

Goaltending

Speaking of goaltending, Matt Murray is expected to get the start for the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night. So far this season, Murray has put together a record of 4-2-0 with a goals against average of 2.65 and a .914 save percentage.

The last time that these two teams faced off against one another was last season on March 23. The Pittsburgh Penguins came out victorious with a final score of 3-2.

What’s at Stake?

The season is early but there are two things at stake here when it comes to the future of these two teams. One is the confidence level of the Dallas Stars. If this team can’t start connecting on passes and putting pucks in the net, the longer this team goes on losing, the worse their confidence will be in the long run. It will become harder and harder for them to work their way out of a slump and they could lose important ground in the league standings as the season moves along. There is still time for them to rebound. For the Penguins, this winning streak is at stake as it gives them a continuous mental edge over opposing teams as they are able to prove that even without superstar players, this team is still dangerous.

Questions to Answer

Plain and simple: Who’s streak will continue after Friday night? Will the Stars be able to snap a four-game skid and pull off just their second win of the season or will the Penguins be able to make it five wins in a row for their team?

Already showing signs of struggle, how will Ben Bishop perform Friday night against the always tricky and dangerous Sidney Crosby?

Will Pittsburgh forward Jared McCann make it to the ice Friday night? He has been listed as a game-time decision as he tries to recover from what was reported as a lower-body injury.

Dallas Stars Injury Report

F Blake Comeau – IR (lower-body)

F Martin Hanzal – IR (back)

D Roman Polak – IR (upper-body)

D Stephen Johns – IR (head)

Pittsburgh Penguins Injury Report

F Evgeni Malkin – IR (lower-body)

D Zach Trotman – IR (groin)

F Alex Galchenyuk – IR (lower-body)

F Nick Bjugstad – IR (lower-body)

F Bryan Rust – IR (hand)

F Jared McCann – day-to-day (lower-body)

Current Odds Listed for Stars vs Penguins

Check out the latest odds here, provided by New Jersey sportsbooks: 888Sport, Unibet and Draftkings.

Money Line:

SportsbookDAL StarsPIT Penguins
888Sport NJ+115-139
DraftKings+118-137
Unibet NJ+118-143

Puck Line:

SportsbookDAL Stars+1.5PIT Penguins -1.5
888Sport NJ-230+180
DraftKings-230+180

Total Goals:

SportsbookOver 6Under 6
888Sport NJ-107-114
DraftKings-107-114
1
DraftKings
  • tick markAvailable in most states
  • tick mark$10 welcome bonus
2
FanDuel
  • tick markAvailable in most states
  • tick mark$5 welcome bonus

More NHL Predictions & Odds

Arizona Coyotes vs Washington Capitals - Odds and Predictions
Arizona Coyotes vs Washington Capitals - Odds and Predictions
The Arizona Coyotes head into the U.S. capital to take on the league-leading Washington Capitals on their home ice this Monday night. The puck drops at 7 PM EST.
News iconNovember 11
Author iconRyan Bristlon
Ottawa Senators vs Carolina Hurricanes - Odds and Predictions
Ottawa Senators vs Carolina Hurricanes - Odds and Predictions
Despite one of the biggest injury pileups in the league, the Senators are on a winning streak. Check out the odds for their matchup with the Hurricanes here.
News iconNovember 11
Author iconRyan Bristlon
Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers: Predictions and Odds
Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers: Predictions and Odds
The Philadelphia Flyers and their leading point scorer Travis Konecny face off against Eastern Conference juggernaut, the Boston Bruins, and star David Pastrnak.
News iconNovember 8
Author iconDerek Blake