Having collected points in six straight games, the Toronto Maple Leafs (2nd in Atlantic Division) will continue their current four-game road trip with a contest in St. Paul, where the local Minnesota Wild (5th in Central) have just won two straight outings.
Leafs Expand Point RunThe current point streak of the Toronto Maple Leafs (11-5-5) extended to six outings (4-0-2) after the team started its newest four-date road trip with a 2-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Wednesday. John Tavares (23 points this year) opened the scoring at 11:41 of the first period with his team-leading 12th snipe of the season before Pontus Holmberg (2 points) made it 2-0 two-and-a-half minutes later with his first NHL strike, with the Devils eventually able to respond with just a single marker five minutes from time after having three goals disallowed prior. Mitch Marner (4 goals, 24 points), meanwhile, nabbed an assist to extend his NHL career-high point run to 14 contests (3 goals, 16 assists).
Goalie Matt Murray turned aside 34 shots on Wednesday to take his current performance record to 3-1-1 for the ongoing campaign with a 2.41 GAA and a .926 save percentage. He has posted a 2-1-0 previous total against the Minnesota Wild with a 2.34 GAA and a .920 save percentage. The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are burying the 11th lowest quantity of snipes per game this season (2.90), while giving up the 6th lowest amount in their defensive zone (2.62). They are sitting 6th in power play with a 26.5% success rate (18-for-68) and are 17th in penalty kill with 78.6% effectiveness (55-for-70).
Wild Win Second In RowThe Minnesota Wild (9-8-2) recorded their second consecutive victory after clobbering the Winnipeg Jets with a count of 6-1 at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday. Marcus Foligno (3 goals, 6 points this year) lit the lamp twice for Minnesota, which tallied once in the opening period, added two more markers in the second before getting on the scoreboard three more times, including twice with the man-advantage, in the final third. Matt Boldy (7 goals, 14 points) pocketed a snipe and two assists for the Wild, who are 4-2-1 in their most recent seven domestic fixtures, having earned the same tally in their past seven overall games as well.
Goalie Filip Gustavsson stopped 28 shots on Wednesday and has now gone 3-4-1 for the rolling year with a 2.62 GAA and a .914 save percentage. He has won his only previous start against the Toronto Maple Leafs, making 30 saves on 33 shots (.909 save percentage). The Wild, meanwhile, are netting the 9th lowest number of goals per game in 2022-23 (2.84), while conceding the 11th lowest quantity on the defensive end (2.84). They rank 14th in power play with a 21.9% conversion rate (14-for-64) and are 10th in penalty kill with 81.0% proficiency (51-for- 63).
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Maple Leafs are on a pretty decent run away from home, currently riding a three-game road winning streak. Still, do not count Minnesota out just yet in their upcoming head-to-head meeting in St. Paul! Granted, the Wild are yet to win three contests in a row this season, stopping their triumph runs at just two games on three separate occasions already. Minnesota has, however, left a very good domestic impression, with its latest 4-2-1 tally telling a nice little story itself. Besides, Toronto has only managed to beat the Wild twice on its last eight trips to Minnesota and has registered just one victory in its most recent six matchups against sides from the Western Conference.
Full-Game Total Pick
Just six or less goals have been scored in a whopping 16 of the past 18 contests between the Wild and the Maple Leafs, with seven of the last nine trips of Toronto to Minnesota all finishing with just a minimal quantity of strikes on the scoreboard. So, don’t expect a goalfest between the two teams on Friday! Four of the previous six domestic fixtures of the Wild have already cruised below the set goal-mark, averaging no more than four tallies per encounter. Eight of the most recent 11 matchups of the Leafs following a win, meanwhile, have all been low-scoring affairs.