The NHL playoffs are in full swing as the Minnesota Wild face off with the St. Louis Blues for game six in this thrilling first-round matchup. It is time to check out our NHL odds series where our Wild-Blues prediction and pick will be made.
After squandering a 2-1 series lead with back-to-back gut-wrenching losses, the Wild will look to rebound on the road in a hostile environment to keep their season alive and force a Game 7. With only four goals combined during their last two outings, the Wild will need to play with a sense of urgency in order to avoid a first-round exit.
In their Game 5 and Game 6 victories, the Blues have gotten outstanding goaltending from Jordan Binnington and have been on the attack against the Wild more often than not. Expect the same formula and game plan from the Blues if they want to send the Wild home packing.
Courtesy of FanDuelhere are the Wild-Blues NHL Playoffs odds:
NHL odds: Wild-Blues Odds
Minnesota Wild: +1.5 (-265)
St Louis Blues: -1.5 (+215)
Over: 6.5 (-102)
Under: 6.5 (-120)
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Why The Wild Could Cover the Spread
It all comes down to this. With a loss, the Wild will be sitting on the couch missing out on all the fun that the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has to offer. With the winner of this series on track to play the red-hot Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota could cover the spread in this one simply in large part due to the sense of desperation that they will play with on Thursday evening.
The Wild need to stay aggressive once they cross the St. Louis zone with smart passing that could set up one-timers and also limit the scoring chances of the Blues when defending their own net. In the regular season between these two Central Division rivals, the Blues defeated Minnesota in all three of their matchups that saw a pair of those contests being determined in overtime.
In order for the Wild to reverse that trend and keep their season alive, they will need to find an answer for Vladimir Tarasenko, who went berserk after his team trailed 2-1 in Game 6 by potting three goals in the third period in the 5 -2 defeat. Look for Karill Kaprizov to try to answer Tarasenko’s scoring frenzy, as the Wild left-winger has shown true grit himself with seven goals in this series.
Fortunately for Minnesota, possessing a net-minder like Marc-Andre Fleury will keep the Wild in any game they play, even with the 36-year-old experiencing his fair share of struggles in the previous two games. The season may in fact ride on the former overall number one pick back in 2003, as the Wild needs an outstanding performance from him now more than ever.
Why The Blues Could Cover the Spread
As for the Blues, St. Louis has Minnesota right where they want them. The last thing the Blues want to do is come up short in front of the home fans at the Enterprise Center and have to play an all-or-nothing Game 7 in Minnesota. In their last two dominating wins over the Wild, St. Louis appears to be in a groove and playing their best hockey of the season at the exact right time.
Since winning Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2019, the Blues have now won a series since but now sit one more win away from returning to the second round to do battle with the Avalanche.
St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington has been the name of the game after replacing fellow goalie Ville Husso earlier in the series, as he gloved save after save in Minnesota on Tuesday night in Game 5. When the dust finally settled, Binnington found himself with 30 saves and was named the second star of the game. Binnington has been a human wall in net the last two contests against the Wild, as the rest of the Blues bunch will have a tremendous chance of closing the door and advancing if they continue to ride Binnington’s blazing hot play with plenty of scoring opportunities in the offensive zone.
Just like the Wild putting great emphasis on Tarasenko and his game-changing scoring ability, the Blues will be doing much of the same to limit Kaprizov and his playoff-leading seven goals. If proven that they can slow down the mighty Kaprizov, then the Blues have a chance to put this one way in the early stages of the game.
Final Wild-Blues Prediction & Pick
In front of a hectic fan base in St. Louis that is ready to blow the roof off of the Enterprise Center this evening, the odds are stacked against the Wild in this one. While their desperate play will keep this one close, it will be the Blues who should disqualify the Wild from the Stanley Cup Playoffs and cover the spread in doing so.
Final Wild-Blues Prediction & Pick: Blues -1.5 (+215)