Match date: 14 Mar 2018
| Sport: Ice Hockey
| Competition: NHL
| Stake: 8/10
| Pick: under 5.50
| Match result:
4-2 - Lost
Antti Niemi (4-6-4 with a 3.29 GAA and .906 SV%) will start between the pipes for the Montreal Canadiens in Tuesday's home matchup with the Dallas Stars.The 34-year-old goalie has been solid since the Canadiens acquired him in November, especially over the past three weeks, during which period he's posted a 1.75 goals-against and .951 save percentage in five starts.The last of them was on March 10, when he stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced in the Canadiens' 2-3 shootout loss at Amalie Arena.
Niemi has gone 3-0-1 with a 2.05 GAA and .943 save percentage in six appearances (four starts) at Bell Centre and is 10-4-5 with a 2.28 goals-against and .922 SV% in nineteen career starts against the Stars, though the last of them was in 2015.
Kari Lehtonen (12-8-2 with a 2.23 GAA and .921 SV%) will start in goal for the Dallas Stars.The 34-year-old netminder allowed two goals on 29 shots in Sunday's 1-3 loss at PPG Paints Arena and has a 1-2-0 record, but with a 1.36 GAA and .955 save percentage over his last three starts.In addition to that, Lehtonen obviously feels more comfortable on the road, where he's posted a 1.83 GAA, .932 SV% and one shutout in sixteen appearances (fourteen starts), compared to a 3.11 goals-against and .901 save percentage in ten home contests (six starts).
Lehtonen will face an opponent with serious problems in offense, as the Canadiens have totaled just nine goals during their five-game losing streak and were limited to two or fewer goals in nine of their last fifteen outings (3-6-6 33/46).In the matter of fact, the Stars are not doing much better in offense lately, as Ken Hitchcock's men were limited to two goals or fewer in each of their last four games against the Senators (2-3 OT/home), the Predators (0-2/away), the Ducks (2-1/home) and Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (1-3/away).
I expect less than six goals in that game between the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars.