NHL Hockey: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Dallas Stars Preview, Odds and Prediction - 04/26/2021

by Big Al Staff

NHL Monday NBC Sports Network Preview: Carolina versus Dallas.

The Carolina Hurricanes play the opening game of a two-game series in Dallas against the Stars at 7:30 PM ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Carolina had their two-game winning streak end in a 4-3 loss in overtime at Florida on Saturday. Aleksander Barkov scored 24 seconds into the overtime period to give the Panthers the victory. Dougie Hamilton scored twice for the Hurricanes, and Andrei Svechnikov added a goal and an assist in a losing effort. Alex Nedeljkovic made 33 saves.

The Hurricanes are in first place in the Central Division with 68 points. They are a point ahead of Florida and two points ahead of Tampa Bay. They have played two fewer games than the Panthers and one less game than the Lightning. 

General manager Don Waddell was not very active at the trade deadline. His only move was to add defenseman Jani Hakanpaa, a 29-year-old with 47 games of experience.

Right wing Sebastian Aho leads the team with 45 points from 20 goals and 25 assists. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton has added eight goals and 31 assists. Center Vincent Trochek is third on the team with 39 points from 17 goals and 22 assists.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour has named James Reimer as his goaltender tonight. Reimer has a 14-5-1 record, with a 2.68 goals-against-average and a .907 save percentage. 

Dallas has won five of their last six games with a 2-1 win in overtime at Detroit on Saturday. Jamie Benn scored the game-winning 32 seconds into overtime. Mark Pysyk tied the game with his goal early in the third period. The team had 52 shots in the game, and goalie Anton Khudobin made 16 saves.

The Stars are in fifth place in the Central Division, two points behind Nashville for the fourth and final playoff spot. They are three points ahead of Chicago in sixth place. 

Dallas returned the core of their group that lost to Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup finals in six games. After having their first four games canceled because of COVID, the Stars have been behind the eight-ball all season. They still have two games in hand to potentially catch the Predators. Management did not make a move at the trade deadline, but they did add defenseman Sami Vatanen off waivers. 

Center Tyler Seguin has not played this season with a hip injury, but he expects to be back if Dallas makes the postseason. Right wing Alexander Radulov and goaltender Ben Bishop are out the year with injuries. 

Center Joe Pavelski leads the team with 43 points coming from 20 goals and 23 assists. Left win Roope Hintz has added 14 goals and 24 assists. Left wing Jason Robertson is third on the team with 37 points from 14 goals and 23 assists. 

Head coach Rick Bowness has tapped Jake Oettinger as his goalie tonight. Oettinger has a 9-6-6 record with a 2.23 goals-against-average and a .916 save percentage. 

Carolina has won five of the six meetings between these two teams after defeating Dallas at home, 1-0, on April 4th. BookMaker lists the Hurricanes as a -127 money line road favorite with the total set at 5.5.

Computer prediction:  Carolina Hurricanes 4 Dallas Stars 2

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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