NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs Wild Game 6 (Friday, April 28)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Roope Hintz of the Dallas Stars.
- The Stars and Wild are set for Game 6 on Friday night.
- Our expert feels the wrong side may be favored in this contest, but he sees more betting value on the total.
- Ryan Dadoun breaks down the matchup and shares his Stars vs. Wild Game 6 best bet below.
Stars vs. Wild Game 6 Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger took charge in Game 5 and led Dallas to a 4-0 victory. The Minnesota Wild need to win Friday in order to force a Game 7, but will their offense, which has been a mixed bag in the first round, be able to do its part?
Oettinger being the Stars’ hero isn’t anything new. As impressive as his 2.17 GAA and .925 save percentage through five playoff games is, it’s only a mild improvement over his 2.37 GAA and .919 save percentage in the regular season. He’s not invincible, but he’s the Stars’ greatest strength.
He’s not the only reason Dallas is one game away from advancing though. Roope Hintz has been on fire with four goals and 11 points in the 2023 NHL playoffs. Prior to Thursday’s action, Hintz was leading the postseason scoring race, ahead of Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (10 points) and Toronto’s Mitch Marner (10 points).
Hintz’s success has helped fill the void left by Joe Pavelski, (concussion) who has missed the past four contests. Given that Pavelski wore a non-contact jersey during Thursday’s practice, per The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf, Dallas will probably have to get by without him again in Game 6.
Dallas still has Jason Robertson (two goals, six points), Tyler Seguin (four goals, five points), Jamie Benn (one goal, four points) and Evgenii Dadonov (three goals, no assists), who have all chipped in offensively in the first round, but Hintz has taken it upon himself to lead the charge and Dallas is better for it.
The Wild could be forgiven if they’re looking at what Hintz is doing with jealousy.
Although Minnesota hasn’t been completely devoid of offensive contributors — Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello have each chipped in two goals and five points — Kirill Kaprizov is supposed to be the Wild’s centerpiece forward, and he’s struggled.
Through five playoff contests, Kaprizov has just one point (a goal). Contrast that against his 40 goals and 75 points in 67 regular-season contests, or his seven goals and eight points in six playoff appearances last year.
Without him, Minnesota just hasn’t been able to put enough pressure on Oettinger, especially recently. Oettinger deserves credit for posting a shutout in Game 5, but Minnesota’s expected goals was just 1.69 in that contest, per Moneypuck.
The Wild also have to do better on the penalty kill. Dallas’ 40.9% success rate on the power play in this series is a recipe for disaster. Dallas jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period Tuesday because of power-play markers and two of the Stars’ three tallies in Game 4 were also scored while Dallas had the man advantage.
If Minnesota surrenders a pair of power-play goals for a third straight game, that might be it for the Wild’s season.
Stars vs. Wild Pick
Oddsmakers are pricing Minnesota as slight favorites, though I see Dallas as having a mild edge. However, with this one being as close as it is, I’m going to shy away from recommending a winner and take over 5.5 goals instead.
Picking the over comes with a decent amount of risk, but I believe its no bigger gamble than selecting Dallas to win and the over also offers a greater potential payout, making it even more enticing.
With their playoff lives on the line, I expect the Wild to do far more to challenge Oettinger in Game 6, and Dallas has a solid offensive core that should fight back. I’m not saying this is going to be an especially high-scoring affair, but I do like the chances of these teams combining for at least six goals for the third time in this series, especially given that they combined for an average of 6.34 goals per game during the regular season.
Pick: Over 5.5 | Play to +105
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