It is the second game in back-to-back nights between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues, the third and fourth teams in the West Division. This preview was written prior to the conclusion of Wednesday night’s game.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this West Division battle at the Enterprise Center. Minnesota is the favorite at -112. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts St. Louis at -104 as the underdog.
Marco Rossi is out for Minnesota. The Blues will be without four of their defenseman – Vince Dunn, Niko Mikkola, Carl Gunnarsson, and Jake Walman – as well as Oskar Sundqvist, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Sammy Blais.
Wild Enter Red-Hot
It has been a great month for Minnesota so far, as they enter this two-game set against St. Louis 4-0-1 in their five games in May. All of those games were at home, however. The Wild defeated Anaheim on Saturday in overtime, 4-3, their third overtime victory this month by a score of 4-3.
Minnesota is eighth in goals per game at 3.28 and is first in shooting percentage at 11.5%. The Wild are 23rd on the power-play at 18.1%. Minnesota is led in scoring by Kirill Kaprizov with 27 goals and 51 points. Kevia Fiala reached the 20-goal plateau and now has 40 points.
Minnesota is giving up 2.74 goals per game, 12th overall, and they are 10th in penalty killing at 82.2%. Cam Talbot likely went on Wednesday, meaning that it will be Kaapo Kahkonen on Thursday. The rookie has been outstanding, going 16-7-0 with a 2.70 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Blues Edge Kings in OT
St, Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Monday. Justin Faulk scored the game-winner just 46 seconds into overtime. Tyler Bozak had the other goal for the Blues. Jordan Binnington stopped 26 of 27 shots for the victory.
St. Louis is 14th in goals per game at 2.89 and is 11th in shooting percentage at 10.0%. The team is 10th on the power-play at 21.9%. Ryan O’Reilly leads the team with 24 goals and 52 points. David Perron also has 52 points and is the team leader in assists with 36.
The Blues are 21st in goals allowed per game at 3.04 and are 27th in penalty killing at 77.1%. It will likely be Ville Husso between the pipes on Thursday. Husso is 8-6-1 with a 3.43 GAA and a .886 save percentage.
- 4-0 in their last four games on the road.
- 4-1 in their last five games.
- 2-4 and their last six games.
Minnesota is firing on all cylinders entering this contest. They are already in playoff mode, but there is no denying that St. Louis has had the better of the play against Minnesota of late. The Wild defeated the Blues in overtime back on May 1, 4-3, but the Blues had won the previous four meetings and seven of the previous eight. It would be easy to go with the Blues here, but I like Kahkonen and Minnesota all the way.
Pick: Take Minnesota at -112.
It seems that oddsmakers are pretty sure this is going to be a high-scoring affair. While I could see Husso struggling in this game, I don’t expect him to give up more than four goals. Kahkonen should be sharp, especially considering that St. Louis has been struggling offensively of late, scoring eight total goals in their last four games. I would really like to push on this game, as I could see Minnesota winning, 4-2, but I will take the under.
Pick: Go under 6.0 at -105.