Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#173 Minnesota Wild vs.
#174 Colorado Avalanche
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9:00pm EST
Pepsi Center, Denver
Written by The Admiral

Minnesota Wild (9-6-0) vs. Colorado Avalanche (9-5-1)

The surging Minnesota Wild take on the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. Minnesota defeated the San Jose Sharks on Monday, 6-2. That was their third straight victory. Colorado lost to Vegas at home on Monday, 3-0. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Avalanche.

Colorado won the most recent battle between these teams, defeating the Wild back on February 2, 2-1. The Avalanche are 5-4-1 in the last 10 meetings between these teams. This season the Avalanche are 2-0-1 against Minnesota. Colorado is favored at -185.

Zuccarello Pushes Wild Past Sharks

Mats Zuccarello scored a goal and added three assists as the Minnesota Wild routed the San Jose Sharks, 6-2. Zuccarello was one of six players that had at least two points in this game. Rookie Kaapo Kahkonen was outstanding in net for the third straight game, stopping 31 of 33 shots. He has given up four goals combined over his last three games.

Minnesota is averaging 2.933 goals per game while allowing 2.533 per contest, sixth-best in the NHL. They are averaging 30.3 shots per game while allowing 28.9 per contest. The Wild power-play has struggled mightily this season, connecting on 9.1% of their opportunities, 29th in the league. They are third in penalty killing and 87.3%.

After sitting out the last three games with an undisclosed illness, goaltender Cam Talbot returns between the pipes. Talbot has started six games with a 2.40 GAA and a .920 save percentage.

Zuccarello has been outstanding for Minnesota in his four games with the team, recording seven points. Kirill Koprizov leads the team with 13 points. After recording three points to start the season, Koprizov had been in a bit of a slump, recording six points over the last 12 games. However, with a goal and an assist against San Jose, he now has four points over the last two contests.

Avalanche Blanked by Golden Knights

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 34 shots he faced as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, 3-0. Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 of 28 shots, but he was no match for Fleury on this night. Colorado earned just one power-play in the game.

Colorado is averaging 2.93 goals per game as well while allowing 2.13 per contest, second in the NHL. They are fifth in shots per game at 31.8 and second in shots allowed at 26.7. The Avalanche are connecting on 23.0% of their power plays and are first in the NHL in penalty killing at 88.2%.

Despite the loss, Philipp Grubauer is arguably the best goaltender in the NHL right now. In 13 starts he has a 1.78 GAA and a .932 save percentage. The three goals allowed against Vegas was the most he has allowed in his last seven starts and he has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts.

Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in scoring with 18 points. He has had six multi-points games this season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Wild enters this contest red-hot. They are playing exceptionally well and doing it on the road. However, they have not performed well against the Avalanche in Colorado, and the last game of a six-game road trip may have Minnesota dragging a bit.

The Avalanche are coming off a shutout loss, but nothing to hang your head low about losing to Vegas. They split the four games with the Golden Knights and now have the opportunity to start making up some ground in the West Division.

I understand that Talbot is the No. 1 goaltender in Minnesota but returning after three games off I think it would have been better for the Wild to have used Kahkonen. Take Colorado all the way.

Prediction: Take the Colorado Avalanche (-185)

Full-Game Total Pick

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The total is set at 5.5. These teams have gone over in five of the last eight meetings in Colorado. However, the Avalanche have gone under in five straight games and have gone under in four straight games at home. Minnesota has gone under in five of their last seven games on the road.

I look for Grubauer to bounce back and have an outstanding start here. Talbot looks a little rusty early on but will settle down. However, too late to lead his team to victory.

Take Colorado to win, 4-1.

Prediction: Go Under 5.5 (-105)
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Written By Admir Aljic , "The Admiral"

You want someone to show you how to make some money, then talk to the Admiral, because he is your man. He has been handicapping for many years, so the Admiral knows a thing or two on how to beat the spread and get your pockets loaded with cash. The Admiral has brought his talents to StatSalt & Winners & Whiners and will always find the best pick for you.