NHL Game 3 Betting Preview | Wild vs Stars Odds, Prediction
Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Filip Gustavsson (Wild)
- After splitting the first two games of the series, the Stars and Wild get set for Game 3 on Friday night.
- The Wild were blown out in Game 2, but Game 3 figures to be closer -- and lower scoring -- as Minnesota looks to get back on track.
- Greg Liodice breaks down the odds and offers up his best bet for Stars vs. Wild Game 3 below.
Wild vs Stars Odds · Game 3
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After a raucous two games in Dallas, the Stars head to St. Paul to try and take the series lead against the Minnesota Wild. It’s been a tale of two games for the Stars. They ran into a hot goalie in Game 1 and lost in double overtime, then dominated all facets of the game in Game 2.
Minnesota made a lot of people wonder when it started Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 2 and Dallas was able to get seven goals past him. The Wild will look to get back on the wagon and right their wrongs in front of their home fans.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as our prediction for Game 3 of the Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild.
Roope Hintz had himself a night in Game 2. The Finnish forward notched a hat trick and lifted the Stars to victory. Miro Heiskanen has been a massive part of Dallas’ success with five points, along with captain Jamie Benn and lead scorer Jason Robertson. The team bounced back after losing Joe Pavelski to a scary hit from Mathew Dumba in Game 1. Pavelski will remain out until he clears concussion protocol.
Dallas has had a pretty decent even-strength attack in these two games. It’s ranked eighth amongst playoff teams with a 50.93 xGF% (expected goals), but the power play has clicked, going 5-11 (45%). The Stars have always had a lethal power play, but it’s been on another level lately.
Defensively, things have been pretty solid with a 2.45 xGA/60 and Dallas has stopped seven out of nine tries on the penalty kill. I expect that to continue as the Stars had a third-best PK at 83.5%.
Jake Oettinger had a rough outing in Game 1, but rose to the occasion in Game 2. Oettinger is a proven performer in the playoffs and he’s playing to a .919 SV% and a +0.9 goals saved above expected (GSAx).
If Minnesota is going to have a chance in this series, it needs its top players to step up. The Wild’s leading scorers in these two games are Gustav Nyquist and Sam Steel, who are considered role players. Mats Zuccarello has done a decent job setting up teammates, but Kirill Kaprizov has only one goal and no assists. He, especially, needs to be better.
Throughout the season, the Wild have had a hard time generating an even-strength attack, but have thrived on the power play. They have played to a 49.07 xGF% during these playoffs and have only converted two of nine power plays. However, the power play was among the best before Kaprizov injured himself late in the season.
On the defensive side, the Wild have played similarly to the Stars. They’re eighth with a 2.54 xGA/60, but the penalty kill has suffered majorly at 55% — drastically worse than their 82% season average.
In a head-scratcher, coach Dean Evason started Fleury in Game 2 after an incredible Game 1 from Filip Gustavsson. After the stinker Fleury let up, I would expect Gustavsson to start Friday. He’s played to a .962 SV% and a +1.8 GSAx in the playoffs.
Stars vs. Wild Pick
This is probably the most even series we’ve had in these playoffs. Both teams are playing at the same level and had Minnesota started Gustavsson, perhaps Game 2 wouldn’t have been so drastic.
Given how low scoring Game 1 was, I can see the same happening in Game 3. This series is nasty and once Gustavsson takes the net back, there will be very little margin for error.
Minnesota needs to stay out of the penalty box. Given that this series has been such a disaster for its special teams, I’d have to believe Evason highlighted the mistakes his team made. If the Wild stay out of the box — and I believe they will — that will make it hard for the Stars to create opportunities. If we take Game 2 out of the equation, these teams have played five times and only one game went over five goals, which makes me think a lower-scoring game occurs here.
Pick: Under 5.5
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