Tied 2-2, the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild throw down Tuesday in Game 5 of their 1st-round Western Conference playoff series. Puck drop from Xcel Energy Center is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN). Below, we look at the Blues vs. Wild odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Blues looked dead in the water after a 5-1 home loss in Game 3 Friday. They lost yet another important defenseman as D Torey Krug appeared to suffer a season-ending knee injury. However, they activated rookie D Scott Perunovich off IR, who hadn’t played since January after wrist surgery, and he looked great moving the puck on the power play in Game 4.
The Blues won the game 5-2, but it was by no means that convincing as Minnesota drew within one late. St. Louis All-star LW Jordan Kyrou lit the lamp twice and appears to be returning to his pre-All-Star-break form. The Blues could get reinforcements as D Nick Leddy and D Robert Bortuzzo have a good chance to return for Game 5.
The Wild came undone by Blues G Jordan Binnington, who was strong in his first action of the series. LW Kirill Kaprizov scored his 5th goal of the series and has scored in each of the last 3 games. The Wild are 2-for-17 (11.7%) on the power play in the series. That has to change if they plan to win the series.
Wild coach Dean Evason hinted there could be lineup changes after the Blues changed it up and took Game 4.
Blues at Wild odds and lines
- Money line: Blues +125 (bet $100 to win $125) | Wild -155 (bet $155 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Blues +1.5 (-190) | Wild -1.5 (+145)
- Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
Blues at Wild projected goalies
Jordan Binnington (18-14-4, 3.13 GAA, .901 SV%, 2 SO – regular season) vs. Marc-Andre Fleury (28-23-5, 2.90 GAA, .908 SV%, 4 SO – regular season)
Binnington stopped 28 of 30 shots in his first action of the series in Game 4. He played well down the stretch, too, as he was 5-1 in April. Binnington was in goal during the team’s unlikely run to win the Stanley Cup in his rookie 2018-19 season.
The 37-year-old Fleury stopped 29 of 33 shots in the Game 4 loss. Fleury has a 2.76 GAA and .914 SV% in the series. He was stellar in Games 2 and 3, but the Blues got to him in Games 1 and 4. One has to wonder if fatigue will come into play as this will be his 14th start in the last 38 days.
This might be the most difficult game to handicap in the playoffs thus far in the most difficult series. The winner of this game is likely going to advance to the conference semifinals.
I picked the Blues in 6 games coming in, and we’re sticking to it. The infusion of two of their injured defensemen, Binnington’s comeback story, the good mojo after Game 4 and C Ryan O’Reilly’s wife giving birth Sunday offer up enough intangibles to LEAN BLUES125) with a HALF-UNIT wager.
This is the kind of win that veteran teams gut out late or in overtime. At Blues +1.5 (-190), I’m going to PASS on the puck line even though every game has been decided by more than a goal.
The O/U is 2-2 in the series, but the Over has hit 7 times in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these two rivals. Binnington, through all of his clutch moments, has been a little giving, and Fleury could be a little fatigued.
Let’s LEAN OVER 6.5 (-112).