The NHL is set up with a great slate of games throughout April 12. Eight matchups will be up on the board throughout Monday night. One of these games will be between the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild. These two teams have been strong throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
St. Louis has put up a record of 19-16-6 so far this season, which has them sitting in fourth place of the West Division. The Blues have a one point lead on the Arizona Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the West. St. Louis has won three games in a row, which ended a seven game losing streak. The Blues will look to keep it going in this one.
The Wild have earned a record of 24-13-3 throughout this season, which has them sitting in third place of the West Division. Minnesota is five points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second seed. The Wild have lost back to back games and three of their last four. Minnesota will look to get back on track with a win in this one.
These two teams are sitting in playoff spots as of right now, which should lead to a great game on Monday night. Minnesota has been a bit better throughout this season, but will look to break this small losing streak in this one. The Blues have picked up their game a bit as of late and will need to finish strong if they want to hold on to that final playoff spot.
The Blues and the Wild have met up three times throughout this season. Minnesota hosted the first game of the season series on March 25. Marcus Johansson and Kirill Kaprizov both scored on the night to help lead the Wild to a win. Cam Talbot stopped all 37 shots he faced as Minnesota was able to earn a 2-0 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted to St. Louis on April 9. Zach Parise scored the lone goal for the Wild, which was not enough. Ryan O’Reilly had three goals and an assist on the night. Sammy Blais and Justin Faulk each had a goal and two assists. Jaden Schwartz scored twice, while Jordan Binnington stopped 24 of 25 shots as the Blues won 9-1.
St. Louis also hosted the third game of the season series on April 10. Nico Sturm and Mathew Dumba both scored for Minnesota on the night to force overtime. Mike Hoffman scored twice in regulation. Vince Dunn had three assists and Ryan O’Reilly scored the game winner in overtime. Jordan Binnington finished with 28 saves on 30 shots as the Blues won 3-2.
These two teams have played in some good games throughout this season. Minnesota earned a win in the first game, but the Blues have dominated the last two games. St. Louis will look to keep up their recent success against the Wild in this one. Minnesota will look to get back on track with a win at home against the Blues on Monday night.
The Blues have struggled on both sides of special teams throughout this season. St. Louis has scored on 22 of their 119 power play chances, which is an 18.5 percent success rate. The Blues have given up 31 power play goals on 130 penalties against, which is a 76.2 percent penalty kill. St. Louis will look to step up on special teams down the stretch.
Minnesota has not been great on the power play this season. The Wild have capitalized on 19 of their 126 power play opportunities, which is a 15.1 percent power play. Minnesota has been much better on the penalty kill. The Wild have killed off 110 of their opponents 131 power play attempts, which is an 84 percent kill rate.
These two teams have struggled on the power play throughout this season. The Wild have an edge in this one with their penalty kill, but they will need to get their power play going. If either team can get going on the power play on Monday night, it could be enough for the win. I do not expect much from either teams power play in this one though.
Jordan Binnington will likely get the start in the crease for St. Louis in this one. Binnington has earned a record of 12-11-5 throughout this season. He has posted a .910 save percentage and a GAA of 2.65 throughout his starts. Binnington finished with 24 saves on 25 shots against Minnesota on April 9, which was enough for the win.
I expect Kaapo Kahkonen to get the nod in the net for the Wild on Monday night. Kahkonen has played in 19 games this season, going 12-7 throughout those matchups. He has put up a save percentage of .909 and a 2.69 GAA. Kahkonen’s last start was against the Blues where he stopped 29 of 38 shots in the losing effort.
These two goalies have put up similar numbers throughout this season. Kahkonen is coming off a really tough performance, giving up nine goals. I expect him to bounce back in this one though. The Wild will look to get the offense going a bit more in this one. Binnington has picked up his play as of late and will look to keep it up as we near the postseason.
These two teams have already met in back to back games and this should be another exciting matchup. St. Louis was able to earn a win in the first two games, but I think that the Wild will bounce back in this one. Minnesota has the better special teams and I think that Kahkonen will have a big bounce back performance.
BetOnline has the Wild listed as a -127 against the money line in this one. This implies that Minnesota will win this game around 56 percent of the time. I believe that this line makes sense with the Wild being at home, but I do not see a lot of value in it. I think Minnesota can take over in this matchup, which makes the Wild at -1 ½ for +195 look like a great pick.