Thu, Mar 25, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The St. Louis Blues (16-11-5, fourth in the West) take on the Minnesota Wild (20-10-1, third in the West) at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota on Thursday, March 25, at 8 PM ET.
The Wild enter tonight’s game in Saint Paul having won 10 straight home games. Minnesota has 41 points, just two out of second and four out of first in the West Division. The Wild are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games.
The Blues come into play tonight four points behind the Wild in the division standings and have gone just 4-3-3 in their last 10 games played overall.
Minnesota picked up a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks the last time on the ice. Cam Talbot was spectacular in net, stopping 28 shots for the win. The 10 straight victories at home for the Wild are a franchise record.
“It was not a pretty game,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “I’ve seen some not-so-pretty games and this league, and that one wasn’t and it’s a lot to do with what we did and how we played. You never want to obviously complain about two points, that’s for sure. But there’s a lot of things that we can do better.”
St. Louis is fresh off a 5-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. Vince Dunn scored the lone goal for the Blues in the loss.
“Basically it boils down to they wanted the game more than us,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “They dug in more, won more puck battles, made more plays, skated better. That’s why they won the game.”
Prior to the 5-1 loss to Vegas, St. Louis picked up back-to-back wins over the San Jose Sharks by scores of 2-1 and 5-2. The first win of that back-to-back against San Jose snapped a five-game losing streak for St. Louis.
"Very disappointing, it really is," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. "We won two games [at the San Jose Sharks], played some good hockey, and then just came here and didn't look like a confident hockey team."
St. Louis allowed Vegas to score four goals in the third period after tying the game 1-1 in the second.
"We didn't play well the first two periods, but we hung in there," Berube said. "We get outshot 15-3 in the third period, it's just not good enough. I've got to coach better, they've got to play better. I guess I didn't prepare them good enough."
Both clubs are dealing with injuries right now, including the following players:
Mathew Dumba (MN): day-to-day (lower body)
Marcus Foligno (MN): out (leg)
Zach Parise (MN): day-to-day (health protocols)
Carl Gunnarsson (STL): out for season (lower body)
Oskar Sundqvist (STL): out for season (knee)
Minnesota is favored (-1.5) in tonight’s home game against St. Louis and has the money line at -125. The over-under for total goals scored is set at 5.5. Minnesota is red-hot at home and has played well overall of late, which is why you should place your money on the Wild to win outright at -1.5 as they keep pace with the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche.