The Minnesota Wild look for their fourth straight victory at home when they take on the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. These teams faced each other Friday night with Minnesota shutting out Arizona, 4-0.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this West Division battle at the Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota is the favorite at -185. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts the odds for Arizona at +165 as the underdog.
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is out for Arizona. Minnesota Left-wing Marcus Foligno is listed as questionable for Sunday as is center Kyle Rau.
Hill Solid, Coyotes Offense Blanked
Adin Hill put together another solid performance for Arizona, stopping 28 of 31 shots, but without any offensive support, he took the loss. Arizona mustered 25 shots and failed to capitalize on all four power-play opportunities. This was a scoreless tie until the third when the Wild put up four straight goals over the final 14 minutes.
Arizona is averaging 2.48 goals per game (27th overall) while they are allowing 2.93 per contest, 15th in the league. The team is last in the NHL in shots per game at 25.5 and the Coyotes are 26th in shots allowed per game at 31.5. It is not surprising that they are seventh in penalty killing at 84.0%. Antti Raanta is expected to get the start. He is 4-2-2 in eight appearances with a 3.39 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
The Coyotes are 20th on the power play at 19.8%. Goal scoring has been a major issue as they do not have a single player with as many as 10 goals. Christian Dvorak has nine to lead the team, but he has not lit the lamp since a two-goal performance back on February 22, giving him nine straight games without a goal.
Talbot, Kaprizov Lead Wild to Victory
Cam Talbot stopped all 25 shots he faced and rookie Krill Kaprizov recorded his first NHL hat trick as the Minnesota Wild defeated Arizona, 4-0. Kaprizov broke a scoreless tie with back-to-back tallies less than three minutes apart. He added a goal in the final 49 seconds to complete the hat trick.
Minnesota is seventh in goals allowed a 2.52 per contest and ninth in shots allowed at 28.9 per game. They are also one of the best penalty-killing units in the league at 85.1%, fifth overall. With the outstanding play of their goaltenders, those numbers are not a surprise. Talbot is 5-4-1 with a 2.60 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
Minnesota is averaging 3.16 goals per game, 13th in the league. That is a solid number, but the power-play has been of no help at all. They are connecting on 7.5% of their opportunities with the man advantage, last in the league. With these three goals, Kaprizov now leads the team with 10 goals and 23 points. He has four goals over his last two games.
- 2-5 in their last seven games against teams with a winning record.
- 8-21 in their last 29 games on the road.
- 6-0 in their last six games at home.
- 4-1 in their last five games overall.
The key in this contest is going to be goaltending, and Minnesota has a clear advantage. Even if Talbot is not at his best, he is clearly the better netminder in comparison to Raanta. Plus, the Wild play much better at home. They are 8-3-0 in their own building, including winning six straight games at the Xcel Energy Center. Shall we call it seven?
Pick: Take Minnesota at -185.
I would not be surprised to see a contest very similar to the one played on Friday. That was an outstanding showdown the is not seen in the final score. I do not see a scoreless battle for 45 minutes, but this is going to be a close contest that is not going over 5.5.
These teams have now gone under in seven of the last 11 meetings in Minnesota. Arizona has gone under in four straight games on the road.
Pick: Go under 5.5 goals at -120.