**This game has been postponed in wake of a police shooting in Minneapolis**
It’s a battle of teams from the West Division on the ice in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The St. Louis Blues are on the road as they travel to face the Minnesota Wild Monday night. These teams close a three-game, two-city trip hereafter the Blues earned a 9-1 victory Friday night and then followed that up with a 3-2 overtime victory Saturday night with both those victories coming in the Gateway City. In the season series, the Blues own a 2-1 series advantage after winning those two contests. Will St. Louis sweep the three-game, two-city set or can the Wild regroup and salvage the finale between the teams?
St. Louis Blues Looking to Ride MomentumSt. Louis earned the win Saturday night in overtime to extend their win streak to three games after a seven-game winless streak. The Blues entered Friday fourth in the West Division, 14 points behind the Avalanche for the top spot, and one point ahead of the Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the division. St. Louis is 16th in the league in goals for as they average 2.85 goals a contest this season. The Blues stand 20th in the league in goals-against as they allow an average of 3.07 goals a night. St. Louis is 22nd in power-play success as they cash in on 18.5% of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Blues are a weak tied for 25th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate only 76.2% of their shorthanded situations this year.
In the game on Saturday night, the Blues didn’t have as much offensive firepower as they did Friday night but they came up with the victory nonetheless. The opening period saw St. Louis outshot by a 9-6 margin and they trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of action. In the second period, the Blues were outshot 8-7 with both teams scoring once, leaving them down 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Mike Hoffman tied the game with his 10th of the year, on the power play, at 3:07 off assists from Vince Dunn and Tyler Bozak. St. Louis gave up the go-ahead goal late in the stanza. In the third period, the shots were even at 12 with the Blues scoring the lone goal to tie things up and send things to overtime. Hoffman scored the equalizer with his second of the night and 11th of the season at 19:18 off assists from Dunn and David Perron. In the extra session, St. Louis held a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal and scored the winner with two seconds remaining in overtime. Ryan O’Reilly scored his 17th of the year at 4:58 off assists from Brayden Schenn and Dunn to earn the victory. Ville Husso made 28 saves for the Blues in the victory as each team fired 30 shots on goal in the contest. Jordan Binnington is expected to be between the pipes for this one.
Minnesota Wild Hoping to Bounce BackMinnesota earned a point on Saturday night but still suffered their third loss in the last four games in the process. The Wild entered Sunday third in the West Division, seven points behind Colorado for the top spot and seven points ahead of fifth-place St. Louis to remain in the playoff picture. Minnesota comes into the game tied for 13th in goals per game with 2.95 goals a night. The Wild stands 12th in goals against as they allow 2.70 goals per contest. Minnesota is 27th in the league in success with the man advantage as they have converted just 15.1% of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Wild is 5th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate through 84% of their shorthanded situations this season.
In Saturday’s contest, the Wild held the lead twice but couldn’t hang on to it either time before succumbing in overtime. Minnesota held a 9-6 edge in shots on goal in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes of action. Nico Sturm opened the scoring with his fifth of the year at 18:25 off an assist from Joseph Cramarossa. The second period saw the Wild with an 8-7 shot advantage with both teams scoring once to leave Minnesota with a 2-1 advantage. After the Blues tied the game early in the period, Matt Dumba scored his sixth of the year, on the power play, at 18:12 off assists from Ryan Suter and Marcus Johansson to give Minnesota the edge. In the third period, both teams had 12 shots on goal with the Wild giving up the lone goal to tie things up and force overtime. During the extra session, Minnesota was outshot 5-1 and gave up the winning goal with two seconds remaining in overtime to take the loss. Cam Talbot made 28 saves in the game for the Wild while taking the loss as both teams had 30 shots on goal. He is expected to get the start in goal for this one.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Blues are 6-1 in their last 7 in the second game of a home-and-home situation
- Wild are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
St. Louis won both games of the back-to-back Friday and Saturday, outscoring Minnesota 12-3 in those contests. This one is in Minnesota, not St. Louis, and the Wild earned a 2-0 shutout win in the first meeting here last month. St. Louis has three straight wins on the books after that seven-game winless stretch that bumped them out of the playoff picture, at least temporarily. The Wild has to find a way to be more consistent on the offensive end of the ice. We’ve seen St. Louis generate some momentum of late and they have the momentum here. Give the edge to the Blues as they scratch out another victory here.
Full-Game Total Pick
St. Louis has seen the under post a 21-19-1 mark in their 41 games on the year. The Blues have seen an average of 5.93 goals a game this season though that number drops slightly to 5.81 goals a night on the road. Minnesota has seen the over post a 22-18 mark in their games this season. The Wild have seen an average total of 5.65 goals per contest this season. That number slumps down to 5.50 goals per game as the home team on the year. This is the third meeting in four nights between the teams and with that recent familiarity, one has to think that this one ends up under the number.