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The Minnesota Wild have lost four of their last six games.
The Dallas Stars are 1-0-3 in their last four games.
The Stars are 1-0-1 against the Wild this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
27-18-4 (3rd in Central Division)
29-13-10 (1st in Central Division)
Kirill Kaprizov (60)
Jason Robertson (67)
Kirill Kaprizov (28)
Jason Robertson (33)
Kirill Kaprizov (32)
Jason Robertson (34)
Jared Spurgeon (18)
Joe Pavelski (31)
Kirill Kaprizov (3.8)
Shots (Per Game)
Jason Robertson (3.96)
The Minnesota Wild will travel south to face the Dallas Stars for the third time this season. The Wild won their first matchup 6-5 in a shootout, but the Stars struck back and won 4-1 in their second meeting.
The Wild are in third place in the Central Division with 58 points. However, they need to get at least one point tonight. If they fail to secure at least one point and the Colorado Avalanche win their next game, they will fall out of the Playoff picture. Conversely, the Stars are the best team in the Western Conference with 68 points. They have a three-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets, so a win tonight would be helpful.
The Wild have a good team on paper but are not executing at a very high level. Their offense is a little below league average. That may not sound bad, but Minnesota has the necessary pieces to be closer to the top ten (if not in the top ten). Defensively, they are much better and allow less than 2.9 goals per game. The Wild also have mediocre goaltenders that will need to step up in the final 30 games of the season.
The Wild have a few studs in Kirill Kaprizov, Matz Zuccarello, and Joel Eriksson Ek. Kaprizov is the top player in this group, but Zuccarello and Eriksson Ek are also reliable scorers and passers. With that being said, these two might need to step up in this game.
Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson make up the Wild’s goaltending duo. Fleury is the starter, but Gustavsson has been more consistent. The Wild may promote Gustavsson if he keeps playing at this level.
The Stars are a stronger squad than the Wild. They average nearly 3.4 goals per game and can always depend on Jason Robertson to provide offense. Defensively, the Stars are much better and allow a measly 2.6 goals per game. They have the second-best defense in the NHL and often stifle opposing offenses. Dallas also has arguably the best goaltender in the league in Jake Oettinger.
The Stars are led by Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, Jamie Benn, and Miro Heiskanen. I will not go into all their individual stats, but I will say this. These five all have at least 40 points.
Jake Oettinger will likely get the start for the Stars. Oettinger has the Stars’ saving grace at times this season. He leads the league with his .924 save percentage and 2.25 goals against average.
The Stars are the slight favorites to win this game, and I would bet on them. They have the best team in the Western Conference and a home-ice advantage. Bet on Dallas.
The Wild are the underdogs but will win if they avoid committing penalties and play team hockey.
The Wild have a decent power-play unit, but the Stars have a better one. The Stars convert 25% of their opportunities, and over 22% of their goals have come on the power play. The Wild must play smart hockey and not let this unit get on the ice.
The Wild have a slower offense than the Stars but can make up for it by passing more and playing team hockey. If they play more of a team game, their offense will operate at a higher level.
The Stars are the favorites but will only win this matchup with strong goaltending and strong passing.
The Stars are having a lot of success this season for multiple reasons. One of those reasons is goaltender Jake Oettinger. Oettinger is one of the younger goaltenders in the NHL, but his numbers show him to be a top-two netminder. He must continue to be a brick wall in the net this game.
The Stars are a pretty strong passing team. They have three players with at least 33 assists and 271 assists on the season. However, they can always do better. Dallas must increase their passing a little bit to increase their offensive efficiency.
Kirill Kaprizov is becoming the face of the Wild franchise. The 25-year-old leads the team in points (60), goals (28), and assists (32). His numbers speak for themselves, but he will be going up against another young star Jason Robertson. Kaprizov will likely be motivated by this and step up his play. If he does not step up his play, the Wild will be on the losing end.
Jason Robertson is the obvious choice. Robertson is only 23 years old but already a top-ten player in the league. His 33 goals are the fifth-most in the league, and his 67 points is tied for the sixth-most.
Robertson must continue to lead the Stars' offense in this game. If he is firing on all cylinders, the whole team will be firing on all cylinders.
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What - Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars
Where - American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
When - Wednesday, February 8, 8:30 PM EST
How to Watch - TNT
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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