The NHL is set up with a strong night of hockey on Wednesday night. Four games will be up on the board throughout April 21. One of these games will be between the Minnesota Wild and the Arizona Coyotes. These two teams have been solid this season and will look for a big two points in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern time.
Minnesota has posted a record of 28-13-3 throughout this season, which has them sitting in third place of the West Division. The Wild are five points behind the Colorado Avalanche and six points behind the Golden Knights. Minnesota has won four games in a row and will look to keep that going in this one. The Wild will look to finish this season strong as they try to catch the top two teams in the division.
The Coyotes have put up a record of 20-21-5 to this point in the season, which has them in fourth place of the West Division. Arizona is one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues for the final playoff spot in the West. The Coyotes lost their last game and six of their last seven. Arizona will need to finish the season strong if they want to hold on to the final playoff spot.
These two teams are sitting in playoff spots as of Wednesday night, which should lead to a good game in this one. Arizona has struggled a bit throughout this season, but will look to finish this season on a strong stretch. The Wild have been really hot as of late and will look to keep it going in this one. If either team can get off to a fast start on Wednesday night, it could be enough for the win.
The Wild and the Coyotes have met up seven times already this season. Arizona hosted the first two games of the season series on March 5 and 6. Jordan Greenway and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist in the first game as Minnesota won 5-1. Tyler Pitlick scored twice, while Conor Garland had a goal and an assist in the second game as the Coyotes won 5-2.
Minnesota hosted the next three games of the season series between March 12 and 16. Kirill Kaprizov had a hat trick in the third game to lift the Wild to a 4-0 win. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist in the fourth game as Minnesota took a 4-1 win. Kaapo Kahkonen finished with a 31 shot shutout in the fourth game as the Wild won 3-0.
The sixth game of the season series stayed in Minnesota on April 14. Jakob Chychrun and Phil Kessel both scored for the Coyotes, which was not enough. Nick Bonino had a goal and two assists, while Mats Zuccarello scored twice. Zach Parise added a goal and an assist as well to help lift the Wild to a 5-2 win at home.
The seventh game of the season series shifted back to Arizona on April 19. Christian Fischer and Alex Goligoski both had a goal on the night, but the Coyotes came up short once again. Kevin Fiala scored a goal and an assist. Nick Bonino and Mathew Dumba both had two assists as Minnesota earned a big 5-2 win on the road.
The Wild’s power play has not been great throughout this season. Minnesota has scored on 25 of their 139 power play opportunities, which is an 18 percent power play. The Wild have been strong on the penalty kill though. Minnesota has killed off 117 of their opponents 139 power play chances, which is an 84.2 percent kill rate.
Arizona has been solid on the power play and penalty kill so far this season. The Coyotes have capitalized on 30 of their 151 power play attempts, which is a 19.9 percent success rate. Arizona has given up 30 power play goals on 141 penalties against, which is a 78.7 percent penalty kill. The Coyotes will look to step up on special teams in this one.
These two teams have been solid on special teams throughout this season. Arizona’s power play has been slightly better, but the Wild have the better penalty kill. The Coyotes will look to step up on the power play to break through in this one. If either team capitalizes on the power play in this one, it could be enough for a win in this one.
I expect Cam Talbot to get the nod in the crease for Minnesota on Wednesday night. Talbot has earned a record of 15-6-3 throughout his games played this season. He has put up a .922 save percentage and a GAA of 2.40. Talbot’s last start was against Arizona on Monday night, where he stopped 22 of 24 shots in route to the win.
Antti Raanta will likely get the start between the pipes for the Coyotes in this one. Raanta has played in 12 games this season, going 5-5-2. He has posted a save percentage of .905 and a 3.36 GAA through those games played. Raanta finished with 17 saves on 22 shots in his last stat against the Wild, which was not enough for the win.
These two goalies have been solid throughout this season. Talbot gives the Wild a slight edge in this one with his play this season. Arizona has not given Raanta much support and will look to give him some help in this one. I expect the Coyotes to test Talbot early as they try to bounce back from Monday’s defeat. If either goalie can get into a groove early though, he will be hard to beat.
Arizona has struggled against the Wild throughout this season, going 1-6 against them through seven games. I think that the Coyotes can finish this season series out with a win though. Arizona is still fighting for a playoff spot and need to pick up their play late. If the Coyotes can get things going early, I think they will carry that momentum to a win.
BetOnline has Minnesota listed as a -137 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Wild will win this game around 57.8 percent of the time. I think that this line is a little high with the Coyotes playing at home. Arizona needs to get a winning streak going and as underdogs in this one, I like the value on the Coyotes in the desert.