NHL Odds & Prediction: Flames vs. Wild Betting Preview (April 28)
Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Kirill Kaprizov
- The Wild are slight favorites on the puckline (-1.5) against the red-hot Flames on Thursday night.
- Minnesota has a stellar record at home this season, but lost to the lowly Coyotes in its last game in St. Paul.
- Jonny Lazarus breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Flames vs. Wild Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
While the Calgary Flames have already locked up the Pacific Division, this is a massive game for the Minnesota Wild.
The Wild are currently tied for second in the Central Division with the St. Louis Blues, who they are already guaranteed to play in the first round. Minnesota has one game in hand on the Blues, so a win tonight could basically lock up home ice for that first-round series.
The Flames might not dress their most important players to ensure that they’re healthy for when the playoffs start, so we might see a bit of a weaker lineup tonight.
Flames Catching Fire Heading Into Playoffs
The Flames are one of the best teams in the NHL, and they’re becoming favorites to win the Stanley Cup. That being said, we might not see that Calgary team tonight.
Even if we don’t see the full roster, Calgary is still a strong defensive team. Dan Vladar has been one of the best backup goaltenders in the league with a 13-5-2 record and .903 save percentage while allowing 2.79 goals per game. He has also won three of his last four starts.
As a team, Calgary only allows 2.5 goals against, which has them ranked third in defensive proficiency. Not only do the Flames do a great job at keeping pucks out of their own goal, but they also limit their opponents’ shots on goal, currently allowing the fourth-least which is 28.8 shots on goal against per game. Another excellent defensive stat of theirs is that they allow the second least high-danger chances per game at 9.74 against.
Even though they play a strong defensive game, they are up against a tough opponent tonight.
Wild Eye Potentially Crucial Victory
The Wild are coming off of a horrible loss at home against the league’s worst team in the Arizona Coyotes.
Before that loss, the Wild had been on absolute fire, winning eight of their last 10 games. Minnesota was looking dangerous offensively and Kirill Kaprizov was proving why he is one of the league’s biggest offensive weapons. In their last five games, the Wild have scored 22 goals and they’re ranked fifth in offensive production by scoring 3.37 goals per game.
Minnesota’s goaltending hasn’t been as strong lately as it’s been all year, but Cam Talbot will be making his first start in the team’s last three games. Talbot has been their number one guy all season, skating to a 31-12-4 record with a .911 save percentage and a 2.78 GAA. Talbot has shown that he is capable of stealing a game for his team.
The Wild haven’t had much success against the Flames this season. They’re 0-2-0 vs. Calgary and have been outscored 12-4.
Flames vs. Wild Pick
You can’t measure desperation, and that is exactly what the Wild will be playing with tonight.
This game means absolutely nothing to the Flames so I am not expecting them to give their best effort. At the same time, this game means so much to the Wild, who would love the home-ice advantage against St. Louis.
Minnesota is 29-8-2 at the Xcel Energy Center, so it’s highly unlikely it loses back-to-back home games. I love the Wild to win this one and get closer to clinching home ice in the first round.
Pick: Minnesota Wild ML -115