Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#45 Minnesota Wild 6 vs.
#46 Montreal Canadiens -165
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7:05pm EDT
Bell Centre, Montreal
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of teams coming off defeats in their last contest take the ice in an interconference matchup in the Province of Quebec. The Minnesota Wild is on the road as they make the trip to face the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night. Minnesota comes in off a 4-2 road defeat to Toronto in the second game of a back to back Tuesday night. Montreal was dropped 3-1 at home by Tampa Bay in an Atlantic Division matchup Tuesday night. The Wild has won the last nine meetings, including both last season: in the most recent matchup, Minnesota took a 1-0 road win on January 7, 2019.

Minnesota Wild Close Three-Game Road Trip

Minnesota was knocked off in the second game of a back to back as they were unable to stop the Maple Leafs’ attack. The Wild close a three-game road swing through Eastern Canada here and they’ll close their season series with Montreal at home on Sunday. Minnesota is tied for 24th in the league in goals for as they average 2.33 goals per contest. The Wild is 29th in the league in goals against by giving up 4.17 goals per game on the year. Minnesota is 23rd in power play success as they convert 15 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Wild is 20th in penalty killing as they have successfully gotten through 77.3 percent of their shorthanded situations.

The Wild started strong but the second game of a back to back led to some heavy legs and it cost them the game. Minnesota was outshot 9-8 in the opening period but took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room. Luke Kunin scored his second of the year at 5:36 off assists from Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon to get the Wild on the board. In the second period, things fell apart: Minnesota was outshot 19-10 and outscored 4-0 to trail 4-1 after 40 minutes. The third period saw the Wild hold an 11-6 edge in shots and scored the period’s lone goal but that was too little, too late. Gerald Mayhew scored his first NHL goal in his debut at 16:58 of the period: Jordan Greenway and Ryan Donato drew the assists. Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves in the loss for Minnesota: the Wild was outshot 34-29 in the contest.

Montreal Canadiens Seek to Regroup at Home

Montreal lost for the third time in four games as they were unable to stop the Lightning’s momentum in a critical three-minute stretch late in the first and early in the second period that decided the contest. The Canadiens entered Wednesday tied for fifth in the Atlantic Division race, three points behind third-place Toronto and five back of division-leading Buffalo. Montreal is 11th in the league in scoring as they put up 3.50 goals a night so far this year. The Canadiens are tied for 27th in the league by giving up 3.83 goals per contest this season. Montreal is 13th in the league on the power play by converting 23.8 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Canadiens are only 29th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through 61.1 percent of their shorthanded situations on the year.

The Canadiens opened the scoring but they were unable to come up with much in the way offensively the rest of the way to take the loss. Montreal owned a 9-7 edge in shots in the opening period but skated off tied at one by allowing a goal in the closing seconds of the opening period. Jeff Petry opened the scoring with his second of the year at 15:46 on the power play off an assist from Max Domi. The Canadiens gave up the tying goal with seven seconds to play in the period. During the second period, Montreal owned an 11-9 edge in shots and was outscored 2-0: they gave up two goals in the first 2:01 of the period, meaning the Lightning scored three times in a 2:08 span. During the final period, the Canadiens owned a 14-6 edge in shots on goal but neither team lit the lamp, leaving the Habs down two goals at the end of the game. Carey Price made 19 saves for Montreal in the loss: they owned a 34-22 edge in shots on goal in the game.

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Minnesota has to be better at lighting the lamp: they’ve scored two goals in five of their six games this season. The Wild can’t expect to win games on a regular basis when they’re only tallying two goals a night. Montreal hung tough against Tampa Bay and held the Lightning in check for 58 minutes: if not for that two-minute span, the Canadiens may well have escaped with a victory. In this one, we’re looking at two teams that have struggled in their own zone. Montreal has the better offensive attack so far this year and that helps them get the victory here.

Prediction: Montreal Canadiens -165

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This is a matchup of two of the worst teams this season when it comes to keeping the puck out of their own net. Minnesota has struggled to have any success as they have scored only two goals in five of their six games: they are 1-4-0 in those games. The Wild is going to have their work cut out for them if they continue to squander good scoring chances. Montreal has been up and down with some big offensive showings coupled with duds like the one against Tampa Bay. The Canadiens have to be more consistent: can they take a step toward that here?

The under is 5-0 in the third game of the Wild's last five three games in four nights situations this season, 4-0-1 in their last 5 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150, 4-0 in their last four against Eastern Conference teams and 6-0 against Atlantic Division opponents. Montreal has seen the under go 6-2 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning % below .400 and 15-5-2 in their last 22 as a home favorite. Look for this one to end up under the total as the Wild continues to struggle to put the puck in the net with any consistency.

Prediction: Under 6
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.