The Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators are all square at 2-2 in their best-of-seven as the series shifts back to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for Game 5 on Saturday afternoon (3:00 pm ET).
The Stars put in the most dominant performance of the series so far in Game 4, crushing the Predators 5-1 in Big D.
Opening Odds for Game 5
The Predators opened as surprisingly decisive -150 favorites on the moneyline, compared to +130 for the underdog Stars. That’s despite Dallas already winning Game 1 in Nashville and forcing OT in Game 2.
Game 1: Dallas 3 – 2 Nashville
Game 2: Dallas 1 – 2 Nashville (OT)
Game 3: Nashville 2 – 1 Dallas
Game 4: Nashville 1 – 5 Dallas
Stars vs Predators Statistical Comparison (Reg. Season)
|38-30-14 (17-16-8 away)||Record||50-25-7 (26-10-5 home)|
|258 (10th)||Goals For||289 (2nd)|
|244 (16th)||Goals Against||223 (9th)|
|50.06 (15th)||Fenwick %||53.25 (4th)|
|90.68 (12th)||Save %||90.31 (21st)|
|50.89 (17th)||High-Danger Chances %||53.29 (8th)|
Series Takeaways So Far
The biggest takeaway from the first four games is that there is very little separating these teams. Nashville has had a slight edge in possession and shots, while Dallas has received better goaltending (especially in Game 4).
Ben Bishop has faced 137 shots in the Dallas net and sits second among starting playoff goalies in both Save Percentage at .942 SV% and Goals Save Above Average (GSAA) at 3.79. It’s merely been a continuation of his Vezina-worthy regular season, when he recorded a league-leading .934 SV% and 32.24 GSAA.
Bishop was particularly good in Game 1, stopping 30 of 32 shots, including about two dozen from close range.
For Nashville, starter Pekka Rinne has faced 102 shots and has a .902 SV% and -1.22 GSAA. Rinne was pulling in favor of Jussi Saros after allowing four first-period goals in Game 4. Saros went onto stop 20 of the 21 shots he faced.
The other takeaway is that the Nashville power-play continues to suffer from a complete power outage. Ranked dead-last in the regular season at 12.9%, the Preds’ PP is 0/10 in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Dallas is connecting at a solid 21.1% clip (4 for 19), despite Nashville boasting the sixth-best PK unit through 82 games (82.1%). The unit only had one goal in the first three games, then erupted for three in the first period of Game 4.
In addition to better goaltending, the Predators will be looking to get more production from its go-to guys up front in Game 5.
Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, Craig Smith, and Nick Bonino — the team’s four-leading goal scorers in the regular season — have combined for just two goals in four games. Rocco Grimaldi, who scored all of five goals in the regular season, is the only Nashville forward with more than a single tally in the playoffs.
Betting Trends and Streaks
In terms of recent play, Dallas is a very solid 6-2-2 in its last ten games, going back to the regular season. The Predators also finished the regular season strong, though, and are 7-2-1 in that span.
In terms of the puckline, the Stars are have gone an outstanding 45-41, much better than the Predators at 33-53.