Wild vs. Hurricanes NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Offenses Have Edge (April 2)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Martin Necas celebrates with Vincent Trocheck.
- The Hurricanes are home favorites on Saturday night against the Wild.
- Both playoff contenders have strong rosters, but offenses should hold the advantage.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting prediction.
Wild vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Carolina Hurricanes host the surging Minnesota Wild on Saturday in an inter-conference matchup. It’ll be the final time they meet this season; the Wild took their first meeting 3-2 back in February.
The Wild are solidifying themselves as a playoff team this year after their six-game winning streak. The streak came to an end on Thursday in a loss to the Penguins in overtime, but they are still 7-1-2 in their last 10 games.
The Hurricanes are one of the top teams in the league, holding the best record in the Metropolitan division. They seem to be getting their mojo back after a rough stretch, as they’ve won three of their last four games.
Wild a Legitimate Playoff Team
The Wild are taking the league by storm, as they’re one of the more explosive teams in the league. Kirill Kaprizov is one of the most exciting stars, while players like Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman are having exceptional seasons.
The Wild are an exceptional team at putting the puck in the net, scoring 3.62 goals per game (fourth overall) this season. Given how explosive Minnesota is, it doesn’t create as many high danger chances, but is great at driving play with a 53.45 xGF percentage. The power play is fine, but could be better, as it only scores 20.6% of the time.
The Wild are pretty decent on the defensive side, conceding 3.08 goals per game. They have done a masterful job at limiting high danger chances for the opposition, though. When down a man, they need to be better, only having a 76.3% success rate on the penalty kill.
Given that Cam Talbot started in their loss to Pittsburgh, I’d expect Marc-Andre Fleury to start Saturday. The man they call “Flower” has done a stellar job in his two Minnesota starts, posting a .948 SV% and a 2.2 GSAx.
Hurricanes Are Elite
The Hurricanes are among the elites in the league. Coach Rod Brind’Amour always gets the best out of his players. Sebastian Aho is averaging better than a point per game, while Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen and Vinny Trocheck are all having big seasons. They will be without grinder and glue guy Jordan Martinook and defenseman Jake Gardiner because of injury tonight.
With such a dynamic roster, the Canes are one of the best at driving play. They rank sixth in expected goals with a 55.17 xGF%, and generate the most high danger chances in the league. Scoring 3.35 goals per game isn’t too shabby either. Did I mention that they’re one of the better teams on the power play? That 24.2% clip can cause teams havoc each game.
As good as they are on the offensive side, the Hurricanes are just as good, if not better, on the defensive end. They allow the fewest goals per game (2.34), and have the best penalty kill with an 88.5% success rate.
Since coming to Carolina this year, Freddie Andersen has played like one of the best goaltenders in the league. The Danish net-minder is posting career-high numbers with a .929 SV% as well as a +34.2 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). Backup Antti Raanta is one of the better backups in the league with a .917 SV% and a +6.4 GSAx. It’s expected that Andersen will start in this bout.
Wild vs. Hurricanes Pick
While the Hurricanes haven’t been playing their best hockey of the season lately, they’re still an elite team that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Coming into this game, Carolina holds one of the better home records in the league at 25-5-4, as well as a top-three defense.
Minnesota has shown it can hang with the big boys, and even more so after acquiring Fleury. Goaltending was always a sticky subject for the Wild, and Fleury can help them in a massive way. They’ve also fared decently on the road, with a 17-13-3 record.
This game will be very close as both teams match up very well with each other, and recent results will be telling. Carolina has averaged six goals in its past six games, while the Wild have managed an average of 3.2. goals.
While I love the goaltending on both sides, it’s possible that a high scoring game is on the radar, which is why I think the over is a good choice here.
Pick: Over 6 (-110).