Having snapped a seven-game losing run with a victory against Vegas, the St. Louis Blues (5th in West Division) will try to record consecutive wins while playing host to the Minnesota Wild (3rd in the West), who have triumphed in three of their past four contests.
Wild Batter ColoradoThe Minnesota Wild (24-12-2) won for the third time in their last four contests (3-1-0) after splitting their two-game home set against the Colorado Avalanche, following up Monday’s 5-4 defeat with an 8-3 triumph at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday. The Wild scored three goals in both the first and the last periods, adding two more in the middle frame, when Colorado tallied three times itself. Minnesota was outshot 32-19, but killed five of its seven penalties and went 4-for-5 with the man-advantage, with Kevin Fiala (14 goals, 25 points this year) registering his first NHL hat trick.
Goalie Cam Talbot made 29 saves on Wednesday to take his current performance status to 12-6-2 for the season with a 2.44 GAA and a .923 save percentage. He has registered a 7-4-2 career record against the St. Louis Blues with a 2.54 GAA and a .918 save percentage. The Wild, meanwhile, are netting the 13th highest quantity of goals per game this year (3.03), while conceding the 8th lowest amount in their defensive zone (2.53). The team is 27th in power play with a 14.8% success rate and 3rd best in penalty kill with 84.9% efficiency.
Blues Snap Losing StreakA season-long seven-game losing run (0-6-1) finally got snapped for the St. Louis Blues (17-16-6), who overcame the Vegas Golden Knights with a count of 3-1 at Enterprise Center on Wednesday. Playing just two days after losing 6-1 to the Knights in the same venue, the Blues were outshot 51-35 and failed to convert on their only power-play chance, but blocked 25 attempts and killed all four of their penalties, ultimately scoring twice in the opening frame before adding their third in the final period ahead of Vegas’ consolation strike. Vladimir Tarasenko (3 goals, 9 points this year), Sammy Blais (4 goals, 8 points) and Jake Walman (1 goal, 1 point) all tallied for St. Louis.
Goalie Jordan Binnington made an NHL career-high 50 saves on Wednesday and has now gone 11-11-5 for the ongoing campaign with a 2.71 GAA and a .909 save percentage. He has picked up a 3-1-0 career total against the Minnesota Wild with a 1.01 GAA and a .964 save percentage. The Blues, meanwhile, are scoring the 13th lowest number of goals per game this season (2.69), while giving up the 7th highest quantity on the defensive end (3.15). The team is 24th in power play with a 17.5% conversion rate and 26th in penalty kill with 76.2% effectiveness.
Minnesota (according to Covers.com)
- Wild are 10-3 in their last 13 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Wild are 20-8 in their last 28 Friday games.
St. Louis (according to Covers.com)
- Blues are 1-7 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Blues are 7-19 in their last 26 home games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Minnesota is one of the strongest home sides in the NHL this season, but has not done that well when skating on the road. In fact, the team has managed to collect just two wins on its past seven trips. Having said that, both victories have actually come on the very last two road outings of the Wild (both - to Vegas), with the team now trying to win three away games in a row just for the second time this season. The prospect of visiting St. Louis for the first time this year is definitely one Minnesota will be relishing, having already banked three victories on its past four visits. The Blues did end an overall seven-game losing streak and an eight-game skid on their own ice with a 3-1 home win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, but still gave up a whopping 51 shots on goal. Netminder Jordan Binnington will not be making 50 saves every night, that’s for sure!
Full-Game Total Pick
Six of the previous seven overall contests between Minnesota and St. Louis all finished with just a minimal amount of snipes on the scoreboard, averaging no more than 3.67 markers per matchup. So, do go with the Under in this particular meeting once again! Even more so after six of the most recent nine overall contests of the Wild had already delivered just a modest quantity of strikes, posting an average of 3.83 tallies per encounter, with six of the previous seven games of the Blues all also going below the set goal-mark, averaging just four markers per clash.