NHL Hockey: Stars/Hurricanes Preview, Odds and Prediction - 04/04/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday NBC Sports Network Preview: Dallas versus Carolina.

The Dallas Stars play at Carolina against the Hurricanes on the NBC Sports Network at 7 PM ET in a rematch of their encounter on Saturday.

The Stars won their second straight game for the first time in over two months with their 3-2 victory yesterday. Tanner Keno scored the winning goal at the 2:35 minute mark of the third period. Andrew Cogliano and Jamie Benn also scored goals.

Jake Oettinger registered 41 saves in the victory. The 22-year old rookie has a 6-3-6 record in 18 games (16 starts). He has posted a 2.32 goals-against-average with a .913 save percentage. Oettinger may play again tonight with Anton Khudobin’s status is in doubt after he tested positive for COVID. There is hope in the Dallas camp that this was a false positive result since Khudobin has already experienced a bout with COVID in the offseason.

Head coach Rock Bowness’ team finds themselves in sixth place in the Central Division with 36 points. The Stars are five points behind Nashville for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division.

Center Joel Pavelski leads the team with 34 points from 15 goals and 19 assists. Defenseman John Klingberg has six goals with 19 assists. Left winger Roope Hintz has 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points. Left winger Jason Robertson has contributed eight goals with 16 assists for 24 points.

Dallas is dealing with some injuries. Both Hintz and defenseman Joel Hanley were scratches on Saturday with lower-body injuries. Center Jason Dickinson only played seven minutes before skating off the ice with an injury.

Carolina has lost two of their last three games after the loss on Saturday. They have still won four of six games. Dougie Hamilton and Hayden Fleury scored in the losing effort.

Alexander Nedeljkovic stopped 22 of 25 shots. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour may use today’s rematch to get Petr Mrazek back on the ice. The veteran goaltender has not played since January 30th with a thumb injury. Mrazek was a healthy scratch yesterday after completing a conditioning stint in the minors. He has only played in four games this season with a 2-1-0 record, 0.99 goals-against-average, and a .955 save percentage.

The Hurricanes are in third place in the Central Division with 51 points. They are three points behind Tampa Bay and Florida, currently tied for first place, and they are ten points clear of the Predators for the last playoff spot.

Right winger Sebastian Aho leads the team with 33 points from 15 goals and 18 assists. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton has added four goals and 26 assists. Centers Martin Necas and Vincent Trochek have contributed another 28 points apiece. Necas has nine goals and 19 assists, and Trocheck has scored 14 goals with 14 assists.

Three of the five meetings between these two teams got decided by one goal. BookMaker lists Carolina as a -165 money line favorite with the total set at 5.5.

Computer prediction: Hurricanes 4 Stars 2

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

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