Wild vs. Stars Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Road Favorites (April 14)
Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Kirill Kaprizov #97 celebrates his goal with his teammate Mats Zuccarello #36 of the Minnesota Wild
- The Stars host the Wild as home underdogs.
- Will Jake Oettinger and the Wild pull the home upset?
- Greg Liodice breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Wild vs. Stars Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Two teams in the playoff hunt square off as the Minnesota Wild head to Dallas and take on the Stars. These Central Division rivals are familiar with each other, and it’ll be the final time they face off, with the Stars taking both previous matchups.
The Wild have gotten hot at the right time to separate themselves from the Wild Card race. They’re currently second in the Central Division, and in their last 10 games, have gone 7-1-2, including two straight wins before tonight.
The Stars don’t have as much of a security blanket as their counterparts and are fighting for their playoff lives. Luckily for them, they’ve played great hockey down the stretch, going 6-3-1 in their last 10.
Fleury Surging for the Wild
The Wild have managed to become “must see TV” every time they touch the ice. Led by Russian sensation Kirill Kaprizov, the Wild have a ton of talent to carry themselves into a deep playoff run. Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Fiala, Ryan Hartman, and Joel Eriksson Ek have all managed to net 20+ goals. There are only a few key injuries worth noting. Jordan Greenway won’t be suiting up, while Matt Dumba is listed as day-to-day.
With loads of talent, it’s no surprise that the Wild have one of the highest scoring teams at 3.65 goals per game. They’re incredible at driving play, ranking seventh in Expected Goals with a 53.64 xGF% but surprisingly don’t generate many High Danger Chances. The Wild are also a decent team on the Power Play, scoring at a 20.2% clip; which one might expect to be a bit higher given their firepower.
Defensively, Minnesota has held up well. Although the Wild are a poor team on the Penalty Kill (only a 75.2% success rate), they’ve been incredible at limiting opponents in generating High Danger Chances. Not only that, but since acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury, they’ve limited opponents to 2.25 goals per game.
Goaltending was always a bit fishy for the Wild until they traded for Fleury. With Cam Talbot shutting down Edmonton on Tuesday, expect the future Hall of Famer to start in this matchup. Fleury has done a fantastic job since coming to the State of Hockey, posting a .926 SV% and winning four out of his five starts.
Can Oettinger Carry the Stars
Many believe the Stars will be a top team each year. These expectations certainly don’t come by accident though, as the timeless wonder Joe Pavelski is averaging a point per game. Jason Robertson is solidifying himself as a star, while Roope Hintz and Tyler Seguin are contributing as usual.
The Stars do a fine job at generating offense, though they don’t put the puck in the net as much as they’d like. Scoring at a mildly disappointing 2.89 goals per game, they have a decent Expected Goals Rate of 51.6 and generate a good amount of High Danger Chances. With a man advantage, they do an exceptional job on the Power Play, scoring at a 21.9% clip.
When protecting the puck, Dallas is a pretty above average team. The Stars only allow just under 3.0 goals per game and do a great job at limiting opponents’ High Danger Chances. However, the one aspect that needs to be better is their Penalty Kill, with only a 78.9% success rate.
With Braden Holtby out for an extended period of time, the youngster Jake Oettinger has taken over the reins as the Stars’ No. 1 goalie. They also acquired Scott Wedgewood to back him up, and he shut out the Lightning on Tuesday, so expect the Minnesota native to start against his hometown team. Oettinger has done a fine job in 40 starts, posting a .914 SV% and a +1.9 GSAx.
Wild vs. Stars Pick
While Minnesota certainly has more flare than Dallas, both teams are matched pretty evenly. I think the Wild have a slight advantage on offense and goaltending, while the Stars have the clear advantage on the blue line.
I like the Wild in this bout though. They have the momentum coming into Thursday, and I expect Fleury to shut down Dallas, just as he’s done since coming to Minnesota. Not only that, but I think this game ends in 60 minutes.
I’m backing the 60-minute line favoring Minnesota.
Pick: Minnesota Wild 60-Minute ML (+140)
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