NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wild vs Kings (Monday, April 15)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wild vs Kings (Monday, April 15) article feature image

(Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images) Pictured: Blake Lizotte #46 and Drew Doughty #8.

Wild vs. Kings Odds

Monday, April 15
9:30 p.m. ET
Wild Odds+140
Kings Odds-165
Over / Under
-120o / +100u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings on Monday, April 15 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

We're down to the last two regular-season games of the year for both sides. The Kings will close out their schedule at home against Chicago on Thursday, then continue into the playoffs. The Wild are playing out the string and will also wrap up Thursday, at home against Seattle.

Minnesota will be playing its third game in four nights and wrapping up a five-game road trip Monday, with some promising young talent to the mix to help fill spots left open by injured veterans. That strategy earned them a 6-2 win against San Jose in their last outing.

Los Angeles is in the midst of a season-ending four-game home stand — putting up points in hopes of securing the best possible seeding while getting playoff-ready.

Let's break down this matchup with our Wild vs. Kings prediction.

Minnesota Wild

A tough schedule in April eventually got the best of the Wild. They have gone 2-4-0 in their last six games and given up 21 goals in those four losses.

In net, John Hynes has been rotating Marc-Andre Fleury, Filip Gustavsson and Jesper Wallstedt. The 22-year-old rookie, Wallstedt, picked up his second-career NHL win in San Jose on Saturday. And with Fleury's future for next season uncertain at age 39, he'll likely draw in for the home-ice finale Thursday.

That means Gustavsson should get the call Monday. And while he did log more than half of Minnesota's games this season and finished with a winning record, he wasn't able to build off his breakout campaign from 2022-23. He'll go into Monday's contest with an .898 save percentage and minus-6.0 goals saved above expected, and has lost his last three starts.

But the news hasn't been all bad in the Twin Cities this year. Kirill Kaprizov delivered another great year with 93 points, Matt Boldy bettered a strong sophomore campaigm and Brock Faber and Marco Rossi should both figure in the Calder Trophy voting for rookie of the year.

In addition to Minnesota's salary-cap challenges, injuries were also a major issue. The Wild are finishing the season without Jared Spurgeon and Marcus Foligno, while Mats Zuccarello and Frederick Gaudreau have both been away from the team for personal reasons in recent games.

That has opened up space to introduce more fresh blood. Liam Ohgren, the team's first-round pick from 2022, made his NHL debut over the weekend and picked up his first career goal and assist in San Jose on Saturday, while Marat Khusnutdinov, a 2020 second-rounder, is now up to 14 games. He got his first goal in Vegas on Friday.

One area of strength is the power play. Minnesota is currently on a six-game streak with at least one goal with the man advantage.

Los Angeles Kings

After making a coaching change at the All-Star break, Los Angeles needs three points in its remaining two games to lock down third place in the Pacific Division. The Kings hold the tiebreaker over the Vegas Golden Knights, who sit three points back with two games remaining.

The Kings will finish up with a home game against Chicago on Thursday — and they're finishing strong, with wins in five of their last six games. While most of their games have been against other non-playoff teams, like the Wild, they haven't been taking their opponents lightly.

Los Angeles chose to stand pat at the trade deadline, and the team's recent play has been consistent with the rest of its season. That all adds up to an impressive plus-42 goal differential thanks to scoring from throughout the lineup, including another 70-point year from captain Anze Kopitar and 50 points from Drew Doughty.

And while the total cap hit for the Kings' two goalies adds up to just $1.875 million, the bargain tandem has gotten the job done. Cam Talbot and David Rittich have both cracked 13 goals saved above expected and have save percentages of .916 and .921, respectively. Rittich logged Saturday's win against the Ducks, so Talbot will likely draw in against the Wild.

The goalies do have a good environment to work in. The Kings are a strong puck-possession team, ranked fourth in the league at 5-on-5 with an expected goals share of  54.47%. But their team save percentage of 91.83% in that situation has not been a detriment.

Special teams have also been solid since the deadline. Los Angeles is currently riding a five-game streak without surrendering a goal while shorthanded.

Wild vs. Kings

Betting Pick & Prediction

This has not been a good matchup for Minnesota in 2023-24. The Kings have dominated the season series with a 7-3 win in Saint Paul back in October, then a 6-0 home victory in March. And given the current trajectories of the two teams, a similar outcome seems likely at Crypto.com Arena on Monday.

So it's no surprise to see Los Angeles as a strong favorite for this matchup, opening at -178 on the moneyline.

With the Kings' tight-checking style, it's unlikely that Minnesota's rookies will find the same room to roam as they did in San Jose. The L.A. puck line opened at +146 and has shifted as high as +160 at some shops as of Sunday evening.

That's good value for a home side that has been firing on all cylinders and logging multi-goal wins with regularity in recent weeks.

Pick: Kings -1.5 (+160 at PointsBet, DraftKings; Play down to +140)

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