NHL Hockey Tuesday: Dallas Stars vs. Washington Capitals

Two teams both off to a great start clash head-to-head Tuesday night as the Dallas Stars (10-3-0) head into a road match-up with the Washington Capitals (9-3-0), in the top offering for online sportsbook betting on NHL Hockey. The Dallas Stars enter the match-up rallying on a 3-game winning streak and becoming the first team in the league to 10 wins, but to get to 3 straight wins over their opponent Capitals tonight, they’ll have to beat a team that’s won its first 6 games of the season at home en route to one of the best records in the Eastern Conference. A great battle takes place for sports fans and online sports betting on NHL Hockey, so let’s break down some of the details of tonight’s game to get a hint of which way to wager at today’s featured top online sportsbook at Sportsbetting.ag.

The Washington Capitals may have not had recent success against the Stars, however tonight at home, boasting one of the most potent offenses in the league behind a flock of talent including Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, and on and on…the Capitals could find a way to overcome their struggles against Dallas, provided they can hack away at the extremely impressive Kari Lehtonen in goal for the Stars. Despite being one of the best goalies in the league for 2011 (10-1, 2.14 goals allowed, .936 save percentage), Lehtonen actually hasn’t fared all too-well against Washington, posting a record of 4-6-0 with a 3.10 GAA over his last 10 starts versus the Caps. However, that almost looks promising compared to Washington’s starting netminder Tomas Voukun, who sports a 2-11 record with a 3.00 GAA against Dallas lifetime. We could possibly see a return to net of youngster Michal Neuvirth with Voukun posting a 3.90 GAA while going 1-2 in his last 4 starts, so that certainly factors in wagering at Sportsbetting.ag, our featured online sportsbook for NHL Hockey today. Though Washington has shown weakness in the past against Dallas, their potent offensive attack averaging almost 4 goals a game could prove essential in the outcome of tonight’s match-up, provided they can overcome a hot team that has historically gotten the better of them.

The goaltending comes into question for Dallas tonight, with back-up Andrew Raycroft posting solid numbers (6-2-0, 1.87 GAA), and Kari Lehtonen batting under .500 in recent history against Washington, but what doesn’t is the fact that Dallas simply has found the solution to the Washington Capitals. Having won 3 of the last 4 on the road against Washington and going 9-1-2 against the Caps since 2000, the Stars, regardless of current talent levels have simply dominated in this match-up. Having one of the most balanced teams in recent memory to start the 2011 season, consistency has been the key to the 10-3-0 start, and has hinged on a number of key players. First, 26 year old Loui Eriksson continues his hot start, netting 2 goals in Friday’s overtime win against Colorado and getting 3 assists in a 5-2 win at Carolina on Sunday. With 8 goals in 12 games played, Eriksson is a team leader, and will have to be involved tonight in the scoring against one of the top opposing offensive units in the NHL. Also a huge factor for the Stars tonight is veteran defenseman Sheldon Suray, who at a +10 rating with 4 goals and 8 assists in 12 games, is already looking like one of the best defenseman in the league this season. Adding in contributions from Jamie Benn (15 points in 12 games), Mike Robeiro (10 points), Dallas looks almost if not better balanced than the Capitals do in this match-up, relying on many contributors on offense and a stout defense to hold down strong opponents and attack with speed when necessary.

Betting Lines for Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars

I’m frankly a little surprised at how much of a favorite Washington is coming into this match-up, getting -160 odds at Sportsbetting.ag today. Coming of a rough patch in which Tomas Voukun hasn’t played well in net, compounded with the Capitals historic woes against a now-hot Dallas team, and the underdog pick tonight starts to look pretty good for Stars fans especially. At +140 odds, rooting for Dallas to pick up their 4th win in a row could return a handsome reward, especially if Dallas chooses to send out Andrew Raycroft in tonight’s contest, looking for his first win of the season. If you’re leaning towards the home-team Capitals however, you might want to look towards the over/under wager in tonight’s game, as there’s a good chance that with these two talented offenses on ice, lots of goals will be put on net. At 5.5 goals, the over/under looks a steal to push over, as we’re counting on a high-scoring showdown tonight at the Verizon Center. Lastly for online sportsbook betting options on the Caps vs. Stars game, Dallas gets 1.5 goals at -200 odds on the spread, while Washington gives up 1.5 goals at +170 odds. In a high scoring match-up that could likely push to overtime, 1 goal difference could be the way this game swings either way tonight.

Our Pick to Win:

Betting against a team that is 6-0 at home, sports one of the league’s top-ranked offenses, and has some of the most talented names in the business playing for them sounds like a bad idea at first though. That is of course until you consider the opposition in a game like tonight’s between the Capitals and Stars. Dallas has excelled with clutch play from a host of players, and has been opportunistic on the power play (ranked 9th), while providing solid defense (8th in goals against), regardless of being on the road (4-2) or at home (6-1). Historically finding success against Washington whether at home or away also bodes well for Dallas’ chances in tonight’s game, but most importantly for this contest it’s been the Stars resolve to pull out games late this season, going 3-0 in games past 3 quarters of play. Against Washington, I expect high scoring affair, tilting to the Stars 4-3 as the 3rd period buzzer sounds.


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