The Dallas Stars are just 3-8 over their last 11 games after going 7-1 in their previous eight games. The Stars will try to get back on track on Friday night in a key home game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dallas is a -115 home betting favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. With a 21-11 record at home, the Stars have been one of the most reliable home teams in the Western Conference this season.
After missing the playoffs last season, the Stars are firmly in the running for the best record in the West this year. The team surged out of the gate to a 9-2-0 start before eventually wrapping up the calendar year of 2015 with a 28-8-3 record.
Shaky goaltending and defense has caused the Stars to come down to earth a bit with a 12-12-5 record since, but Dallas still has one of the most dangerous offenses in the league averaging 3.2 goals per game and could make a late push if superstars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin get hot.
The Stars have enjoyed success against the Chicago Blackhawks recently with a 4-1 record against their division rival, outscoring the Blackhawks 19-10 over that stretch. Chicago was 11-1 in its previous 12 games against Dallas before the recent surge per the OddsShark NHL Database.
Chicago looked like it might end up running away with the Central Division after it caught and passed the Stars with a 12-game winning streak back in January. But since then, the Blackhawks have cooled off with a 9-8-2 record over their last 19 games.
Patrick Kane is running away with the scoring title this season with 38 goals and 51 assists through 68 games, leading a Blackhawks team that ranks sixth in scoring with 2.8 goals per game and fifth in goals against allowing 2.4 per game.
Friday night's total is set at 5.5 goals. The OVER is 11-4 in the last 15 games between the Hawks and Stars.
Dallas, Chicago and St. Louis will all enter Friday within one point of each other in the standings, battling for first place in the Central Division. This should be a dogfight down the stretch, and these head-to-head battles will be particularly important in determining who comes out on top.