The Dallas Stars probably deserve a better fate than being in an 0-2 hole in the Western Conference Finals against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Stars played well enough to win both games, but found themselves on the wrong side of overtime in back-to-back contests.
Dallas has no choice but to dust itself off and take care of business in a must-win game on Tuesday night.
The Stars are -140 favorites at home for Game 3.
Golden Knights vs. Stars prediction
(8 p.m. ET. ESPN)
If someone told you before Game 1 that goaltending would be the deciding factor in this series, you’d likely think that would be good news for the Stars.
On paper, Dallas has a significant edge in the blue paint with Jake Oettinger taking on Adin Hill, but it’s been the veteran backup that has been the story through the first two games of this best-of-7 showdown.
Hill has posted a .922 save percentage (SV%) and a +1.8 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) so far in this series and has outdueled Oettinger, who has struggled to an .885 SV% and a -1.2 GSAx.
Those numbers are the difference in a series with razor-thin margins.
The Knights have outscored the Stars, 7-5, while the two clubs have the same amount of shot attempts and the Stars have the slightest edge (64 to 61) in shots on goal through two games.
The expected goals (6.8 to 5.9) favor Dallas, but the high-danger scoring opportunities at 5-on-5 go the other way (22 to 15).
The Knights and Stars have shown to be equals in basically every facet of the game so far in this series.
The only difference has been the goaltending performance of Hill, but it’s fair to question if the 27-year-old will be able to keep up this pace.
Betting on the NHL?
Hill was solid in limited duty this season and has been lights out in a small sample in the playoffs, but his career numbers suggest that it’s likely that he comes back down to earth as this series goes on.
If that happens, the Stars are very live to not only win Game 3, but storm back and take this series.
Golden Knights vs. Stars pick
The Bet: Dallas Stars to win the series +330
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