NHL Playoffs Game 3 Odds, Pick & Preview: Wild vs. Blues (May 6)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan O’Reilly
- The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues face off in Game 3 of their series in the NHL Playoffs.
- With the series tied at one, Game 3 is massive for both the Blues and Wild.
- Jacob McKenna shares his best bet below.
Wild vs. Blues Game 3 Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues will go head-to-head in St. Louis on Friday as both teams will be looking to gain a 2-1 advantage in the series.
The Blues came out looking to dominate in Game 1 and that is exactly what they did as they cruised to a 4-0 victory and stole a win on the road. However, Minnesota regrouped after a day off and won Game 2, 6-2, proving why it finished as the second best team in the Western Conference.
Any divisional battle is going to lead to a great game, especially when it comes in the form of a best-of-seven series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So will we see the Wild prove once again why they finished ahead of the Blues in the Central Division, or will being back on their home ice give St. Louis an extra boost?
St. Louis Blues
Being able to steal a win on the road is always favorable, but the fashion in which the Blues did it in Game 1 was quite impressive.
David Perron got the scoring started in the first period with his first of three goals on the night. Ryan O’Reilly was the next guy to find the back of the net and the Blues went into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
However, the star of the night may have been Ville Husso, who was able to save all 37 shots that came his way. That performance was a continuation of Husso’s regular season, where he went 25-7-6 overall with a SV% of .919.
However, the highs from Game 1 were short lived. The Wild came storming back and exposed the Blues on the defensive end of the ice.
During the regular season the Blues ranked 29th in the NHL in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) in 5-on-5 situations, only ahead of the Canadiens, Coyotes and Blue Jackets. Some of the issues on that end of the ice were on display in Game 2, which led to six goals from Minnesota.
The offense is clearly there. The question is if the blue line can hold up on a consistent basis.
Simply put, the Minnesota Wild have been one of the best teams on both ends of the ice this season and they will need that to be the case as they head to St. Louis for the next two games.
In the 82-game regular season, this team could score the puck at will. As seen on Money Puck, the Wild ranked third in goals scored in 5-on-5 with 207, just slightly behind the Panthers and Maple Leafs. They also ranked second in goals for per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 with 3.23.
Furthermore, this Wild team was stellar on the defensive end of the ice and took tons of pressure off of whoever was in net.
As a team, Minnesota had an xGA/60 of just 2.13, ranking second in the NHL and putting a significant gap between them and the Flames in third (2.29). Their opponents had almost no chance of getting good looks on a consistent basis, as the Wild allowed just 9.46 High Danger Chances per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 and made offensive production a struggle for their opponents.
After a good Game 2, it is likely we see Marc-Andre Fleury in net at least for the start of this game. Fleury had a shaky start to the season, but has been solid since being traded to Minnesota and has posted a SV% of .908 this season.
Wild vs. Blues Pick
The defense of the Wild has been fantastic all season, but in Game 1 of this series the Blues proved it could exposed.
However, the Blues defense has shown it can be just as vulnerable and as a result I think we will have a high-scoring affair on our hands in Game 3.
Prior to the postseason, the Wild and Blues have crossed paths three times and we saw a total of at least seven goals in all three games. I think that remains the case on Friday night and that we’ll have a lot of pucks find the back of the net.
Pick: Total Over 6.5 (+100)