Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/15/13
For The NHL Gamblers! Headline: Canucks Look for Seventh Straight Win – Host Stars Friday Night The sizzling hot Vancouver Canucks will take to the ice Friday night after a few days off to take on the Dallas Stars who are coming off an ugly 7-4 loss in Calgary on Wednesday night. For the Canucks, it has been about defense early in the season – they have allowed just six goals during their six game win streak while their offense continues to somehow sit in the bottom half of the NHL. Dallas Stars (7-6-1-0) at Vancouver Canucks (8-2-0-2) When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, February 15, 2013 Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia Broadcast: FS-SW, SNET-P Stars vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bodog.ca Dallas Stars +1½ -175 +167 Ov 5 -126 Vancouver Canucks -1½ +155 -184 Un 5 +114 For the Stars they have been OK lately and had a four game win streak before their debacle in Calgary. The Dallas Star simply didn’t show up on Wednesday night and subsequently got blown out of the rink against one of the lower tier teams in the NHL. Now they face the prospect of facing one of the top tier teams that has looked virtually unstoppable the last couple of weeks. Offensively the Stars have actually been OK. In the past five games, Stars forward Jamie Benn has eight points, Jaromir Jagr has six, Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow each have five. Dallas has been trending upward since a poor start to the season and will be looking to avenge what was their worst effort of the season when they head to Rogers Arena. Look for Kari Lehtonen to get the start in goal Friday night – he has been sensational of late. Lehtonen is 5-0-0 with a 1.77 goals-against average in February. But he is 0-3-0 with a 5.19 GAA in three career starts at Vancouver. He, though, is 2-7-0 versus the Canucks with a 3.69 GAA – his second-worst mark against any opponent. Vancouver Canucks vs. Dallas Stars Betting Lines & handicapping He is 0-3-0 with a 5.19 GAA in three career starts at Vancouver. In the city of Vancouver, the Canucks talk never stops – never. With the goaltending situation “working out” favorably, the drama has turned to the roster players. Manny Malhotra’s season was cut short and Ryan Kesler is ready to return. So where will Kesler play and how will Vancouver absorb the loss of arguably the best faceoff man in the league? Enough fluff! The Canucks have been scorching as of late – six straight wins while outscoring their opponents 18-6 over that span – and they haven’t even seen the best of the Sedins yet. Offensively it has been a true committee approach – Forward Mason Raymond has five points in his past four games and Jannik Hansen has his first three goals in the past four games. The defense has been effective in the offensive zone as well with Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa leading the way. The Canucks have yet to elevate their game to the offensive status of last year but they haven’t needed to because of… Goaltending. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have been terrific this season – the Canucks are tied with the Bruins for the fewest goals surrendered this year. Schneider will get the start Friday night. He is 4-2-0 this season with a 2.36 GAA and he has been getting better each and every start – he has posted a 1.26 GAA in winning four consecutive starts against Dallas. Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction: A few trends to consider: • Under is 15-5-4 in DAL last 24 road games. • DAL are 13-5 in their last 18 vs. Northwest. • Under is 5-2-1 in DAL last 8 Fri. games. • Under is 6-1-1 in VAN last 8 games following a win. • Under is 17-6-5 in VAN last 28 overall. • VAN are 117-56 in their last 173 home games. • Over is 9-1-1 in the last 11 meetings in Vancouver. • DAL are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings. The Canucks have dominated Dallas the last couple of seasons – six wins in seven matches in Vancouver and a 11-2-1 record in the last 14 meetings overall. The Canucks have outscored Dallas 51-29 over that span. The Vancouver Canucks have finally risen to the elite class of NHL teams like we all knew they would. Now if they could get the Sedins going on a more consistent basis. Ryan Kesler solidifies the Canucks lineup a bit and provides another threat for the Stars to watch out for – Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin may have a little more room with Kes in the lineup. With Vancouver’s defense and goaltending playing the way they are it is hard to imagine the Stars offense doing enough to reverse Vancouver’s dominance in the series. Kari Lehtonen may have something to say about it but in the end, Vancouver should win this one in a very close and likely low scoring game. Free NHL Pick: Canucks -184 CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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