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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
46-25-11 (3rd in Central Division)
47-21-14 (2nd in Central Division)
Leaders (Regular Season)
Kirill Kaprizov (75)
Jason Robertson (109)
Kirill Kaprizov (40)
Jason Robertson (46)
Mats Zuccarello (45)
Jason Robertson (63)
Jared Spurgeon (32)
Joe Pavelski (42)
Kirill Kaprizov (3.90)
Shots (Per Game)
Jason Robertson (3.82)
The Minnesota Wild will face the Dallas Stars for Game Two of this First Round series. The Wild won Game One 3-2 in double overtime. The game was tied 2-2 after two periods, and neither team scored in the third period and the first overtime. A little less than eight minutes in the second overtime, Ryan Hartman put a puck in the back of the net off a Sam Steel assist. Both goaltenders put on shows. Filip Gustavsson finished with 51 saves, and Jake Oettinger had 45 saves.
The Wild finished the season in third place in the Central Division with 103 points. Minnesota does not have an excellent team but was in a Playoff spot all season long. On the other side, the Stars finished in second place in the Central Division with 108 points. They were in the first or second spot of their division all season long and easily skated into the Playoffs.
The Wild are a solid team but have had a slow offense all season long. Minnesota averaged less than three goals a game this season and struggled to score consistent goals all year long. Defensively, they are much better and allowed less than 2.7 goals per game this season. The Wild are not the best defensive team in the NHL, but they are in the top ten. It is also worth noting that the Wild’s goaltender, Filip Gustavsson, has become one of the best netminders in the NHL and is a brick wall in the net.
The Wild are led by Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, and Joel Eriksson Ek. Eriksson Ek may not play this game, but the other two are impressive players and would be considered stars to some.
Filip Gustavsson will get the start in the net for the Wild. Gustavsson started the season as the #2 netminder for Minnesota but moved up when he exceeded expectations. The 24-year-old only started 37 games this year but finished with 22 wins.
The Stars have been a strong team all season long. Their offense, led by Jason Robertson, is one of the best in the league and averaged over 3.4 goals per game this season. Defensively, they are even better and right on par with the Wild’s defense. The Stars also have an incredible netminder in Jake Oettinger. Oettinger has been instrumental to Dallas’ success this whole year. Overall, the Stars have quite a well-rounded team and all the pieces to win it all.
The Stars have some excellent players in Jason Robertson, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, and Miro Heiskanen. Robertson stands out in this group, but Benn, Pavelski, Hintz, and Heiskanen all had at least 73 points this season.
Jake Oettinger will be the man in the net for the Stars. Oettinger has had an incredible year and is a top-five goaltender.
The Stars may have lost Game One, but I expect them to even up the series in this matchup. Dallas has a home-ice advantage and will step it up on the defensive end in this matchup. Bet on Dallas to win.
The Wild are the underdogs but will win if they draw penalties and pass to Kirill Kaprizov.
The Wild had a mediocre power play unit this season and converted less than 22% of their opportunities. Minnesota never figured out how to score consistently with a man advantage. This unit did not score in Game One but must score in Game Two.
Kirill Kaprizov has been the Wild’s x-factor all season long. The winger averaged over one point a game this season and was a consistent scorer. His teammates must pass to him and set him up with scoring opportunities.
The Stars are the favorites but will win if they score first and limit the Wild’s shots.
The Stars failed to score first in Game One but must turn the tables this time around. Dallas is playing at home and will get their crowd on their side if they score first.
The Wild shot 48 times in their previous game. It was a double overtime, so both teams put up quite a few shots. However, Minnesota has to shoot less today and must finish with 30 or fewer shots. If the Wild can limit Minnesota’s shooting, they will win the game.
I spoke above about Kirill Kaprizov and his brilliance. Kaprizov was the Wild’s top source of offense this year and will need to take charge of the Wild defense in this matchup.
I eluded to Oettinger’s excellence earlier in this article. The 24-year-old has improved each year in the NHL and had a 37-11-11 record this year. His 2.37 goals allowed were the seventh-lowest in the NHL. Oettinger saved 45-48 shots in Game One and will need to have another incredible game today.
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What - Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars
Where - American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
When - Wednesday, April 19, 9:30 PM EST
How to Watch - ESPN 2
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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