The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild meet Tuesday in game 5 of the West First Round NHL Playoffs at the Xcel Energy Center. The St. Louis Blues look for back-to-back wins to take a 3-2 series lead. The Minnesota Wild look for their second home win to take a 3-2 lead.
The St. Louis Blues are averaging 3 goals per game and are scoring on 27.9 percent of their power play opportunities. David Perron leads St. Louis with 5 goals, Ryan O’Reilly has 3 assists, and Jordan Kyrou has 12 shots on goal. Defensively, the St. Louis Blues are allowing 3.25 goals per game and are killing 88.2 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Ville Husso has given up 9 goals on 96 shots faced, and Jordan Binnington has allowed 2 goals on 30 shots.
The Minnesota Wild are averaging 3.25 goals per game and are scoring on 11.8 percent of their power play opportunities. Kirill Kaprizov leads Minnesota with 5 goals, Ryan Hartman has 5 assists and Joel Eriksson Ek has 14 shots on goal. Defensively, the Minnesota Wild are allowing 3 goals per game and are killing 72.2 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Marc-Andre Fleury has given up 11 goals on 128 shots faced.
The Minnesota Wild are the better team overall, and they should have the edge at home, where they’ve been great all season. It’s hard to get a feel for this series given that every game has been a blowout from all sides. With that said, it’s the underdog that’s won three of the first four games. In fact, five of the last nine winners between the Blues and Wild, the team getting plus money has won. Marc-Andre Fleury doesn’t exactly look like the same goalie he was a couple of years ago with Vegas. I’ll take a stab with the Blues and the more favorable price.