The Minnesota Wild (46-21-6) and St. Louis Blues (44-20-10) will stage a playoff preview Saturday at Enterprise Center. The teams are second and third in the Central Division respectively and are likely to be matched up in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Wild vs. Blues, 3:00 p.m. ET, ABC
Puck line: N/A
Total: Over 6 (+120), Under 6 (-100)
Moneyline odds: Minnesota (-110), St. Louis (-110)
Moneyline pick: Minnesota
Both teams are surging entering Saturday’s game. St. Louis’ 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday gives the Blues seven straight and points in ten straight (9-0-1). The Wild got past the Dallas Stars 3-2 in overtime and have won three straight and have points in nine of their past 10 (7-1-2). St. Louis has won the first two games in the season series, including a 4-3 overtime win at Enterprise Center last Friday.
The Blues rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period and Robert Thomas netted the game-winner in overtime. Speaking of Thomas, he’s on fire right now with 23 points (6 G, 17 A) during an 11-game point streak. He had FIVE assists against Buffalo to tie a franchise record. In response the Wild offer up young, exciting winger Kirill Kaprizov, who has 18 goals in the past 20 games. The former fifth-round pick was the NHL’s top rookie in 2021 and will get some votes for the Hart Trophy in 2022.
Goal total: Under 6
Both teams have been alternating goalies for the past few weeks. If that schedule stays the same Minnesota will put Cam Talbot in goal. But it wouldn’t surprise me is Marc-Andre Fleury got the nod instead. Fleury is likely to get the bulk of the work in the playoffs and might want to get a taste of how his defense matches up with the Bulls. Fleury is 0-3-0 against St. Louis this season, but all those starts were when he was with the Chicago Blackhawks. He is 5-1-0 since being acquired by the Wild in a trade.
Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso have split starts for much of the season in St. Louis, and if that schedule holds it will be Husso between the pipes Saturday. Husso had 35 saves in last Friday’s win, his only start against Minnesota this season. This is going to be a much tighter game than their previous matchups as both teams are trying to get into playoff hockey form.
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