After losing last night in Dallas, the Minnesota Wild are back home tonight as they will play host to the Vegas Golden Knights. We’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
If any team needed the All-Star break, it was the Vegas Golden Knights. The Knights had lost four straight games leading into the break, with their offense failing to score more than two goals in a game over that span. Vegas came out in their first game after the break and scored five goals on the way to a 5-1 victory over the Nashville Predators.
Defensively, the Golden Knights looked as if they are back on track as well, as they managed to hold the Predators to just 17 shots on goal in the game and had 12 takeaways. Vegas entered the break ranked 11th in shots against per game, so getting even better in that area makes them all the more dangerous.
Offensively, it was the first time Vegas had scored more than two goals in a game since January 21st. The Golden Knights’ chances of continuing the offensive momentum from that game into tonight look strong as well since they will take on a Minnesota Wild team that has allowed a total of seven goals in their first two games back from the break.
The Wild dropped a game to the Dallas Stars last night by the score of 4-1. Minnesota’s scoring numbers were a bit below average heading into the break, as they ranked 20th in goals per game and 18th in shots per game, so coming out and only scoring three goals in two games since the break, I can’t imagine, made Wild fans gain any optimism.
Its likely Marc-Andre Fleury will be back in net for the Wild tonight, and despite taking a loss in his first game since the break, his save percentage over the past ten games is .911%, so he does give Minnesota a chance to sharpen things up at least on defense.
Despite both teams coming out of the break much differently, I’ll be taking the Minnesota Wild (-120) as my play in this one. The Wild are 9-2 in their last 11 games when playing on zero days' rest, and I think they can get back on track tonight at home. In the previous five meetings between these two teams, the home team is 5-0, and with the way Vegas has been playing on the road recently, I like this trend to continue.
Unlike Minnesota, the Golden Knights have not been as successful this season when playing on short rest, as they are 1-4 in their last five games when playing on one day's rest. Projected starting goalie tonight, Logan Thompson, has lost his previous three games in net, and in his last game, the Golden Knights allowed 37 shots on goal which is seven shots more than their usual average.
With the recent sputtering by the Wild, I think they come out aggressive, knowing they are now down into the second wild-card spot. Minnesota is starting to back themselves into a corner, so they’ll need to come out sharper, which I think they can.
Minnesota Wild (-125)