St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild

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The Wild had a major bounceback when they swept the Ducks with a 2-1 and a 3-2 victory. The Wild have won 20 of their first 31 games and are surprising everyone as they are in 3rd place of the West Division. The Wild will now host the St. Louis Blues who have struggled recently but have one of the best rosters in the division and are still in playoff position.

Blues defense has struggled recently

The Blues have lost 6 of the last 8 games and have struggled in the recent games on the defensive side with the team allowing 4 goals or more in 4 of the losses. The Blues have been allowing 3.1 goals per game and aside from Justin Faulk and Torey Krug, who have combined for 3.9 defensive point shares, the rest of the unit has struggled. In addition, the Blues have gotten poor play from backup goaltender Ville Husso who is saving less than .900 percent of shots and allowing 3.4 goals per game.

The offense has also taken a dive recently with the later lines not being able to find the back of the net, as they now average 2.9 goals per game. While David Perron and Brayden Schenn have 12 goals each with Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou have 10 goals each, the rest of the unit has struggled. The offense only worsened when Oskar Sundqvist suffered a torn ACL to miss the rest of the season, only making the depth a bigger issue.

Wild are winning with defense

The Wild won the last two games and only allowed three goals in the process, a much-needed response after two blowout losses to the Colorado Avalanche. The defense was able to step up and has been this entire season, allowing only 2.5 goals per game. The unit has three excellent pairings but has been primarily led by the great goaltending of the young Kappo Kahkonen, who at 24-years-old has taken over as the starter and is allowing only 2.2 goals per game.

While the offense has struggled at times this season, the young core of scorers has lifted the Wild and made them one of the more competitive teams in the NHL. 24-year-old duo Joel Eriksson Ek and Kevin Fiala are combining for 20 goals this season while the 23-year-old Kirill Kaprizov has scored 10 goals this season. In addition, 23-year-old Jordan Greenway has scored 5 goals and dished out 15 assists this season as part of the young jolt on the offense.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Wild seem to be hard to beat at home as they have been on a roll in the recent home games. While the Blues have the talent to win on any given night, they will have their hands full against the young Wild offense. Expect the Wild to be able to pile on the goals with Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek constantly creating space on the ice for open scoring chances while also being able to crash the net. In addition, the Wild should be able to limit the Blues offense with their deep defense and Kappo Kahkonen constantly blanking the Blues shots on goal. The Wild should continue their impressive mark at home and win this game easily.

Prediction:
Wild (-122)

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The Wild are led by their strong defense and goaltending with the last two games being a reminder as they only allowed 3 goals in that stretch. However, the Blues offense should be able to find a few goals from their top line with Jordan Kyrou and David Perron breaking through the top pairings of the Wild and slipping a few shots past Kahkonen. Moreover, the Wild should be able to pile on the goals with the young scorers constantly finding opportunities against a struggling Blues defense. The Over should be able to cover with both teams finding the back of the net multiple times in this game.

Prediction:
Over 5.5