The Minnesota Wild (1-1) head to “The Lou” attempting to take back home-ice advantage against the St. Louis Blues (1-1) in Game 3 of their 1st-round Western Conference playoff series Friday. Puck drop from Enterprise Center is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT). Below, we look at the Wild vs. Blues Game 3 odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Wild were a mixture of very good and very lucky in Game 2. They got out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st period. Their opening goal was scored after a Blues’ player stick shattered in the defensive zone for an unfortunate turnover. Their second marker was scored on a power play from a questionable high-stick penalty on LW Kirill Kaprizov that resulted from an Oscar performance one of your favorite NBA floppers would be proud of.
Kaprivoz scored to close out the 1st period action and ultimately showed why he’ll be a household name in the hockey world very soon as he finished the game with a hat trick. After a 108-point season, the 25-year-old Russian had a signature performance and will be a force to reckon with for years to come.
The Blues have three starting defensemen banged up after D Nick Leddy missed Game 2 with an upper-body injury after being hit from behind into the boards in Game 1. D Robert Bortuzzo is likely out for Game 3 after he dropped down to block a shot that hit him in the face.
D Marco Scandella could be back from a lower-body injury, and that blue line needs him. The Blues battled back from 4-0 and nearly made it 4-3 with a couple of shots off the crossbar in the third. Down They pulled their goalie with about 7 minutes to go and couldn’t control the puck, and Minnesota sealed the deal with an empty-net goal to make it 6-2.
Wild at Blues odds and lines
- Money line: Wild -103 (bet $103 to win $100) | Blues -117 (bet $117 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Wild +1.5 (-270) | Blues -1.5 (+190)
- Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -125 | U: +100)
Wild at Blues projected goalies
Marc-Andre Fleury (28-23-5, 2.90 GAA, .908 SV%, 4 SO – regular season) vs. Ville Husso (25-7-6, 2.56 GAA, .919 SV%, 2 SO – regular season)
Fleury was great in Game 2 and has played well in both games. He has stopped 59 of 65 shots for a .908 SV% in the series. His play seemed to frustrate the Blues offense Wednesday and he’ll have to be equally as good in this one for the Wild to prevail.
Husso took a step back Wednesday, but that was expected after the 37-save shutout in the opener. He allowed 5 goals on 27 shots but still has a .922 SV% in the series. The Wild were able to cause havoc in front of the net with the Blues missing some defensemen. That will be a key in this one.
Give the Wild a lot of credit. They were frustrated and taking penalties because of it in Game 1, and they reversed that energy in Game 2. It wasn’t as close as the 6-2 score would indicate, and the Blues played well in the final two periods.
Look for St. Louis to get started early and try to light the lamp multiple times in the first. The books have been right both games, and they’re leaning toward the Blues in this one. They’ll score just enough to make up for their thin blue line. Remember, the Blues have won 8 of the last 10 games in the series LEAN BLUES (-117).
There’s no value here for the Wild to keep it within a goal at -270, and it’s hard to trust the Blues to win by multiple goals right now PASS.
The Under hit in Game 1, and the Over landed in Game 2. The Over is 5-1 in the last 6 games between these teams and in the Blues’ last 6 against Western Conference foes. The Over has been steamed up this morning from -108 to -125. That’s where we’ll LEAN OVER 6.5 (-125).