The NHL is set up with an action packed slate of games throughout May 5. Nine games will be up on the board throughout Wednesday night. One of these matchups will be between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild. These two teams have been solid 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.
Vegas has earned a record of 36-13-3 throughout this season, which has them sitting in the top spot of the West Division. The Golden Knights are two points ahead of the second seeded Avalanche and will look to hold on for the top spot. Vegas has lost two of their last three games. The Golden Knights will look to finish this season strong with a winning streak starting on Wednesday.
The Wild have put up a record of 33-14-4 to this point in the season, which has them in third place of the West Division. Minnesota is two points back of the second seed and four points back on the top spot. The Wild have won back to back games entering this matchup. Minnesota will look to keep their streak alive with a sweep over the Golden Knights in this one.
These two teams are in the middle of a heated battle for playoff positioning in the West Division. This should lead to an exciting matchup on Wednesday night. The Golden Knights have a slight lead on the top spot, but Minnesota and Colorado are nipping at their heels. Vegas will look to get going early, while the Wild will look to continue to close that gap.
The Golden Knights and Wild have met up seven times this season. The first two games of the season series were in Vegas on March 1 and 3. Mark Stone had five assists in the first game. Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist as the Golden Knights won 5-4 in overtime. William Karlsson, Mark Stone, Chandler Stephenson and Alex Tuch all had a goal and an assist as Vegas won 5-1 in the second game.
Minnesota hosted the third and fourth game of the season series on March 8 and 10. Kevin Fiala and Jonas Brodin both scored in the third game. Kaapo Kahkonen stopped all 26 shots he faced as the Wild earned a 2-0 win. Dylan Coghlan had a hat trick in the fourth game, but it was not enough. Joel Eriksson Ek had two goals in the fourth game to lift the Wild to a 4-3 win.
The fifth and sixth game of the season series shifted back to Vegas on April 1 and 3. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist in the fifth game. Kevin Fiala scored the shootout winner to lift Minnesota to a 3-2 win. Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist in the sixth matchup. Cam Talbot stopped 27 of 28 shots on the night as the Wild earned a 2-1 win.
The seventh and most recent game of the season series was back in Minnesota on May 3. Alec Martinez and Mark Stone both had a goal and an assist on the night as the Golden Knights jumped out to a 5-3 lead. Nick Bonino scored two goals and an assist, while Jonas Brodin, Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala all had a goal and an assist. The Wild scored two goals late to earn a huge 6-5 win at home.
Vegas has not been great on the power play throughout this season. The Golden Knights have scored on 29 of their 157 power play chances, which is an 18.5 percent power play. Vegas has been much stronger on the penalty kill. The Golden Knights have killed off 115 of their opponents 134 power play attempts, which is an 85.8 percent kill rate.
The Wild have also struggled a bit on the power play so far this season. Minnesota has capitalized on 28 of their 150 power play opportunities, which is an 18.7 percent success rate. The Wild have been solid on the penalty kill though. Minnesota has given up 27 power play goals on 152 penalties against, which is an 82.2 percent penalty kill.
Both teams have had strong penalty kills with weaker power plays this season. The Wild have a very slight edge on the power play, but Vegas will look to shut it down. I do not expect special teams to play a big role in this one, but if either team can get going with the man advantage, it could be enough for the win in this one.
Marc-Andre Fleury will likely get the nod in the net for the Golden Knights in this one. Fleury has started in 33 games this season, going 23-10. He has posted a .926 save percentage and a GAA of 2.08 throughout those games played. Fleury’s last start was against the Arizona Coyotes where he stopped 19 of 21 shots in the win.
I expect Cam Talbot to get the start in the crease for Minnesota on Wednesday night. Talbot has earned a record of 18-7-4 throughout his starts this season. He has put up a save percentage of .918 and a 2.57 GAA so far. Talbot finished with 27 saves on 32 shots in Monday’s win against the Golden Knights. He will look to be a bit stronger in this one.
These two goalies have been really strong throughout this season. Vegas has the slight edge with Fleury in net and will look for him to use the extra day of rest to his advantage. The Golden Knights were able to put five home on Talbot, but they could not earn the win. Vegas will need to tighten their defense in this one if they want to bounce back.
The Golden Knights are coming off a disappointing loss to Minnesota on Monday night. I think that Vegas will bounce back in this one though. The Golden Knights will play much better defense in this one, while looking to attack Talbot early. Vegas had a bit of a wake up call in Monday’s collapse and I think they will respond with a big win in this one.
BetOnline has the Golden Knights listed as a -113 against the money line in this one. This implies that Vegas will win this game around 53.1 percent of the time. I agree with this line as the Golden Knights have been the better team this season. Vegas has lost five in a row to the Wild, but I think they will respond with a strong performance to finish out the season series.