Minnesota Wild and the Calgary Flames will face each other in Thursday’s action of the NHL 2021-22 season. The home side wants to get back to the winning track and boost its confidence ahead of the playoffs. The visitors have enjoyed the winning streak, which they would like to extend.
Minnesota has played well lately, but their successful streak ended after the latest match. Nevertheless, the hosts look forward to bouncing back and starting another one. On the other hand, Calgary is full of confidence, and the away side wants to keep its current position in the standings. Another victory would extend their victorious run.
Minnesota Wild – Can they return to the winning track?
The Wild have been excellent over the past few weeks, but they surprisingly lost 5-3 to the Coyotes on the home ice. They managed to win five times in a row before that game, and the hosts will search for a way back to the winning track. Although Minnesota had 12 shots more than their rivals, their defending wasn’t good enough, and they dropped to 3rd place in the Western Conference with a 51-22-7 record. The Wild are just one point behind their upcoming rivals, and they could take over the 2nd spot if they win this encounter.
Kirill Kaprizov is among the most efficient NHL players with a total of 105 points, including a team-high 60 assists. He has also been the team’s top scorer with 45 goals. Kevin Fiala has contributed with 84 pts, while Mats Zuccarello is just a point away from the 80 mark. Ryan Hartman has produced 63 pts, while three other skaters have chipped in with 40 or more points. Regarding the goaltending, Cam Talbot has a .911 save percentage, allowing 2.78 goals per game on average.
Expected Line-Up: Marc-Andre Fleury, Jonas Brodin, Alex Goligoski, Kevin Fiala, Ryan Hartman, Kirill Kaprizov
with best odds
Calgary Flames – Will they keep their streak going?
The Flames managed to win three times in a row and take over the 2nd spot in the Western Conference from their upcoming rivals. They are at a 50-20-10 record, and the visitors suffered just one defeat on the previous six occasions. If they extend their run and win here, that success would seal the 2nd position for them. Calgary heads to the second straight road game after beating the Nashville Predators 5-4 in their most recent outing. They were more dominant in the offense, while Dillon Dube led them to success by scoring a brace.
Johnny Gaudreau has been the most dominant player in the Flames’ offense with 113 points, topping the team’s assists charts with 74. Matthew Tkachuk is Calgary’s best scorer with 41 goals while contributing with 102 pts. Elias Lindholm has 81 points, while Andrew Mangiapane and Rasmus Andersson have produced 50+ points each. On the other hand, Jacob Markstrom commands Calgary’s offense by allowing only 2.21 goals per contest and having a .922 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Jacob Markstrom, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau
Expert Pick #1 – Over 6.5 @+105
The Over looks like a very good choice here since both teams have been involved in high-scoring matches lately. Six of the Wild’s last seven went over the margin, as well as seven of the Flames’ previous eight. I’ll take the Over as my first pick at the plus money odds.
Expert Pick #2 – Flames to win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @+100
Both teams have played well lately, but I’ll take advantage of backing the visitors as slight underdogs here. I expect them to win and secure the 2nd spot in the conference ahead of the playoffs, and that’s going to be my second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Flames Over 2.5 @-160
If you fancy lower odds, then this pick might be the right one for you. The Flames managed to score at least three goals five times on the previous six occasions, and since they have a very talented offense, I believe they can continue in the same fashion here.