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The Minnesota Wild (3-3-1) and the Washington Capitals (2-3-1) are set for a huge matchup in a game that features potential wild card teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences. Both teams are already starting to see signs of a long season, as they are set to play their third game in four nights. There are plenty of reasons to believe both teams will come out on top but for different reasons.
The Wild are coming off a 7-4 win at home versus the Edmonton Oilers without Connor McDavid. Last night, the Wild tried to use the win over the Oilers as momentum to push for a big road win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The offense of the Wild would fall flat, however, as the Wild go on to lose 6-2 to the Flyers.
Washington started the season by winning only one of their five games. Their toughest losses include a 6-1 loss on the road to the Ottawa Senators and a 4-1 loss at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs this past Tuesday. The capitals did account for a shocking 6-4 Rd. win over the New Jersey Devils.
The Wild possess a stellar trio of left-wing Kirill Kaprizov, right-wing Mats Zuccarello, and center Joel Eriksson Ek, who have all accounted for nine points this season. Eriksson has scored a team-high five goals this season, as Kaprizov and Zuccarello are stellar at setting up shots.
Offensively, the Capitals have been playing poorly, as they were only able to account for more than two goals once in their first five games. While the Capitals are coming off a huge win where they scored six points, their sample size within the first six games of the season is not completely reliable, especially when they gave up four goals in the game.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
It is a tale of two different starts of the 2023-2024 NHL season, as the Arizona Coyotes are having a positive start to the season while the Los Angeles Kings are seeing a bit of a struggle in their first few games. This Friday night will be another matchup between Pacific Division rivals, the Coyotes and the Kings.
The Coyotes have played a bit of a brutal schedule, as they have played five of their first six games on the road. The Coyotes have a shootout win on the road versus the New Jersey Devils, a big win over the St. Louis Blues and a home win over the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings have started their season on a 3-3 run as their losses come in brutal fashion 2 the Colorado Avalanche, the Carolina Hurricanes and the undefeated Boston Bruins.
This past Tuesday, the Kings defeated the Coyotes with a 6-3 score in Los Angeles. The king started on a 3-1 run in the first period and finished with two more goals in the third. Los Angeles found ways to spread the puck around the ice, as they had six players score a goal. The Kings gave Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram problems as they scored three goals in the first 12:34 minutes of play.
The Coyotes are averaging 2.5 goals per game, but also allowing 2.5 goals per game. If Arizona wants to knock off talented teams like Los Angeles, they’ll need more consistency on both sides of the ice.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Rounding off Friday's slate of NHL games is an eastern versus Western Conference matchup between the Saint Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks.
The Blues have started an up-and-down season as they have solid winds over the Seattle Kraken, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Calgary Flames. They have also lost tough matchups to the Dallas Stars in a shootout on the road, the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets.
The Canucks started the season with two big wins over the Edmonton Oilers, both on the road and at home. They followed the wins over the Oilers up with two tough losses at the Philadelphia Flyers and at the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canucks are coming off a two-game win streak at the Florida Panthers and at the national predators. This matchup will be the second home game of the season and the first since opening the season on October 11th.
Vancouver possesses one of the top passers in the league in center Elias Peterson, who has accounted for ten points, with eight of them being assists. He has been a solid player to help set up shots for teammates like right-wing Brock Boeser, who has a team-high six goals this season.
St. Louis is a team that consistently spreads the puck throughout the ice to look for the perfect shot attempt. Only left-wing Brandon Saad has accounted for more than one goal for the Blues.
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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