The Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild are tied ahead of Game 3 of their best-of-five Stanley Cup qualifying series, so we will see a tremendous clash Thursday, August 6, at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, without the audience on the stands.
The Wild have won two of their three regular-season encounters with the Canucks and opened this series with an impressive 3-0 victory. However, the Canucks bounced back in Game 2 and will look to upset the odds in Game 3. Hereof, we bring you all need-to-know betting tips and trends for the Wild versus Canucks showdown.
The Wild can count on all their players besides defenseman Greg Pateryn (opted out). The Canucks miss Tyler Toffoli (leg), Jordie Benn (personal), and Josh Leivo (knee), while Antoine Roussel (upper body) and Adam Gaudette (unfit) are questionable to play.
What’s at Stake?
The winner will be one game away from the 2020 Stanley Cup First Round. The loser will play with back against the wall in Game 4.
The Wild dominated Game 1, blanking the Canucks behind Alex Stalock’s 28 saves and Jared Spurgeon’s brace. The Canucks responded in Game 2, taking the lead after just 24 seconds of play while clinching the victory with a couple of goals in the second period.
Minnesota is 5-2 in its last seven meetings with Vancouver. Also, the Wild are 5-3 in their last eight games against the Canucks when listed as favorites. The over is 12-5-3 in the previous 20 encounters between these two conference foes.
The Wild had the 12th-best offense in the NHL this past regular season, scoring 3.16 goals per game. The Canucks were eighth with 3.25 goals per contest. Both teams struggled defensively, as Minnesota was surrendering 3.14 goals per game (24th in the league), while Vancouver was yielding 3.10 goals per contest (tied-19th).
Alex Stalock tallied 28 saves in Game 1, but he allowed four goals on 28 shots in Game 2. Still, Stalock should get another start Thursday, and he was 20-11-4 with a 2.67 GAA and a .910 save percentage in the regular season.
Jacob Markstrom should guard the cage for the Canucks, and he went 23-16-4 with a 2.75 GAA and a .918 save percentage in the regular season. Markstrom played well in the first two games against the Wild, posting 28 saves with a .933 save percentage in Game 1 and 32 saves with a .914 save percentage in Game 2.
On paper, the Canucks are a better team than the Wild, but they have some serious injury worries ahead of Game 2. Tyler Toffoli is a very important player for the Canucks, so I would completely avoid the side bet in this one. Honestly, it could easily go either way.
Anyway, I would bet on the over, as I think the Canucks and Wild will combine for six or more goals. I’m going to rely on their poor defenses, although we could see a cautious approach on both sides due to a huge stake. If you are satisfied with slightly lower wages, take the alternative line at 4.5 goals and bet on the over.