Minnesota Wild vs New Jersey Devils: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Prudential Center – Newark, NJ.

When: Saturday, February 9, 1PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): FSN, MSG | WFAN

Minnesota Wild (Away)

Head Coach: Bruce Boudreau {All-Time 529-265-103 MIN, ANA, WSH}

The Wild have been playing middle-of-the-pack hockey this season, with nothing about the team really sticking out and yet completely within reach of making the playoffs. Currently ranked seventh in the West with 57 points, this is the time of the season where Bruce Boudreau and his Minnesota Wild need to step things up.

Minnesota is 5-4-1 in their last ten and have suffered back-to-back defeats at the time of writing.

An interesting matchup here is how the teams line up when it comes to shooting percentage and goal scoring. New Jersey consistently manages to throw 32+ shots at opposing goalies and rank just above Minnesota in goals for. That said, the Wild rank 11th in the league in goals allowed (compared to New Jersey’s 27th) and, more impressively, seventh in the league for shots allowed. Minnesota is also tied for ninth in the league for powerplay with a 21.4 per cent success rate. They should be able to contain the Devils’ shooting output.

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk is expected to get the start in net for the Wild. Dubnyk is 20-17-3 on the season. He has a 2.55 goals against average, .914 save percentage, and one shutout.

New Jersey Devils (Home)

Head Coach: John Hynes {All-Time NJD}

The Devils were having little luck before the all-star break and even less luck now. The injury bug has been the teams achilles heel, with star forward Taylor Hall and core defensemen Sami Vatanen and Ben Lovejoy still out of the lineup.

That said, forward Joey Anderson took part in his first practise since fracturing his ankle back on November 21. Another piece of good news was the return of Travis Zajac earlier this week.

What’s incredible for the Devils is that for a team riddled with injuries this season, they’ve managed to maintain a third-place penalty kill. The even strength numbers, offensively, actually side with New Jersey in this matchup and they can take confidence in the fact that should they end up in the penalty box, they still have a very good chance at taking the two points away from the Wild.

Although goaltender Corey Schneider has finished his AHL conditioning stint, it is expected that Keith Kinkaid will get the start in the crease for New Jersey. Kinkaid is 14-15-6 on the season with a 3.13 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. He has three shutouts on the season.

The Minnesota Wild were victorious the last time these two teams played back in February 2018. The final score was 4-2.

What’s At Stake?

With lots of trade rumours surrounding the Devils right now, it seems that almost all hope is lost for the season. With that said, this is Minnesota’s game to lose. Minnesota is ranked seventh in the West, 11 points back of third place. The playoffs are unquestionably well within grasp as long as they can step things up a notch heading into the last 30 games of the season. New Jersey just hopes to play the spoiler.

Questions to answer

Whose special teams will prove superior – the Wild’s powerplay or the Devils’ penalty kill?

With less injuries bogging them down, can the Wild contain New Jersey’s high shooting output in this matchup?

Minnesota Wild Injury Report

F Mikko Koivu – day-to-day (undisclosed)

F Pontus Aberg – IR (lower-body)

D Matt Dumba – IR (ruptured right pectoral)

New Jersey Devils Injury Report

D Sami Vatanen – IR (concussion)

D Ben Lovejoy – IR (upper-body)

F Stefan Noesen – IR (lower-body)

F Taylor Hall – IR (lower-body)

F Joey Anderson – IR (fractured ankle)

Minnesota Wild at New Jersey Devils Predictions and Odds

The Wild are a -130 favourite over the +110 Devils.