Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild

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The Minnesota Wild are riding high after a sweep of the Vegas Golden Knights, who are one of the best teams in the NHL. The Wild will now host the Arizona Coyotes for a 3 game series where the two teams are hoping to march towards to playoffs in a tight West Division. Both teams are have shown flashed of strengths and weaknesses but this series will help determine which team is ready to make a playoff run.

Coyotes bring defense and depth

The Arizona Coyotes have been in the middle of the pack in a tight West Division and have gained points in 4 of the last 5 games. The offense has struggled this season scoring 2.5 goals per game but has shown two great scoring lines this season with Christain Dvorak, Tyler Pitlick, and Clayton Keller combining for 23 goals while Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland combining for 15 goals on the second line.

While the offense has struggled to find the back of the net at times, the defense has played well the entire season, allowing only 2.8 goals per game. Jakob Chychrun is playing well on both ends of the ice as the 22-year-old has 1.2 defensive point shares and 41 blocked shots on the defensive end while scoring 7 goals and 12 assists on the offensive end. Meanwhile, the duo of Jordan Oesterle and Alex Goligoski have combined for 2.8 defensive point shares and 95 blocked shots. In addition, the Coyotes have gotten strong play from their starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who is allowing only 2.4 goals per game.

Wild are led by rookie duo

The Wild have been one of the surprises this season, winning 15 of their first 24 games to hold the 3rd best record in the West Division. One of the major surprises for the Wild has been the great play from their rookie goaltender Kappo Kakkonen who has emerged as the starter and is saving .922 percent of shots while also allowing only 2.1 goals per game. With the help of a strong defense, led by the pairing of Jonas Brodin and Ian Cole and their combined 3 defensive point shares, the Wild have been a tough team to score against, allowing 2.6 goals per game.

While the defense is being helped by a rookie goaltender, the offense is being fueled by rookie Karill Kaprizov, who has 7 goals and 13 assists this season. In addition to Kaprizov’s great play, the Wild have been finding goal scoring from a pair of 24-year-old goal scorers in Joel Eriksson Ek and Kevin Fiala, who have combined for 18 goals this season.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Wild have been on fire in the recent games, winning both home games against the Vegas Golden Knights. While the Coyotes have the firepower to pull off the upset, it’s hard seeing the Wild losing based on how they have played recently. Expect Kakkonen to get the nod in the net for the Wild and his impressive run should continue as he blanks the Coyotes offense along with the improved Wild defense. In addition, the Wild should find goal scoring with Eriksson Ek and Kaprizov continuing to display great skating and finding open shots. The Wild should continue their winning ways and easily take care of the Coyotes.

Wild (-163)

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Full-Game Total Pick

The Wild and Coyotes are both more than capable of running up the score in this game with both offenses being more than potent enough. However, we can expect the defenses to control this game and Kapponen, in particular, to have a great night in goal. The Wild led by Kakkonen should be able to constantly eliminate the Coyotes offense, especially on the backend which for the Coyotes, has truly been their downfall this season. In addition, the Coyotes defense, led by Chychrun, should be able to limit the potent Wild offense in this game. Expect the Under to cover with both defenses stepping up.

Under 5.5