In the Western Conference four teams are competing for two spots and Dallas needs to defeat Columbus tonight if they are to retain even theoretical chances to make it to the playoffs. The Stars need to close a four points gap and the Blue Jackets are the first team they need to overtake.
Odds: William Hill 2.10
Detroit prevailed last night against Los Angeles Kings, and now the Red Wings are the team occupying the last place eligible for the playoffs. They leapfrogged Columbus who now sits on the ninth place, but the Blue Jackets are only one point behind and could easily return the favor with an away victory tonight. Both teams are overly concerned about what happens in Detroit, where the local team faces Nashville, who is already out of the playoffs and lacks motivation.
Everything points towards an easy victory for the hosts, and this means that if the Stars don’t win tonight they are out of the race. They’ve earned most of their points in front of their fans, and have won three consecutive games at home, so there are good reasons for optimism in Dallas. One year ago, Columbus finished the regular season with the fewest points in the National Hockey League and the pressure is tremendous on them to prove critics wrong. The two teams have split the games played this season, but this one is the first to be played in Dallas.
Dallas has just one more card to play and they will play with a sense of urgency that should take Columbus by surprise. Punters should back the Stars for the last time in the regular season, with William Hill offering the best odds of 2.10.