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Wild vs. Stars, 8:30 ET
Honestly, it hasn’t been a pretty few last plays for me in the NHL. I mentioned in my last article that I wasn’t really sure why the money was going on the opposite side of me – and that doesn’t always matter – but it is another piece of the puzzle nonetheless. That play lost, but as I’m going through the process I’m accepting some learning moments like these. I’ll take a 2-1 loss, it was a coinflip game and I was on the wrong side. Learn, move on, and grow.
This game we are going to start by looking at the Minnesota Wild who are traveling to take on the Dallas Stars. This is the second game of the Wild’s trip and they are coming off of a loss to the Coyotes in Arizona. This has been a solid enough season for the Wild, but they are still looking up at the Stars who are in first within the Central Division. Tonight, they are sending Filip Gustavsson. You could make the argument that he has been better than his partner Marc-Andre Fleury. Either way, he has only allowed 2.26 goals per game this season which is good for 2nd in the NHL. He’s playing very well. Over his last five games, he’s allowed more than two goals just once – it was his last game and it was against the Panthers. He has yet to face the Stars this year and they do have a good offense, but they have a tough task tonight against Gustavsson.
The Stars are just 1-1 against the Wild this season. They lost a home game to them earlier in the year and then stole the second matchup. Now they send Jake Oettinger to the crease to try and stop the Wild. I mentioned that Gustavsson has the second-best goals-against average in the NHL. Well, guess who is first? That’s right, Oettinger. He hasn’t played great against the Wild, he was in net for both games. The first one, the loss, at home, he allowed four goals and didn’t play the full game. In the second one he got his revenge, allowing just one goal. Now he needs to redeem that home loss he suffered. It was probably best that he had the All-Star break as he was on the wrong end of three consecutive 3-2 shootout losses right before the break. Now he is back and was able to win the first game the Stars had after the break.
For me, this game has two great goalies going. The line certainly reflects that, too. I’m still going to take this at under 6 at -125. If you only have 5.5 I’d really consider backing off of this play. I don’t think seven goals happen in this one, but six could. At least this way we get a bit of a chance with a push.
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