Minnesota Wild will take on the St. Louis Blues in Game 2 of the NHL 2021-22 playoffs on Wednesday evening. The hosts search for a way back to the winning track after losing the opening game of the series. The away side boosted its confidence with another win against the Wild and will try to repeat that success.
Minnesota could get into real trouble if they fail to win in this match, and they need much better performance. Nevertheless, it should be an excellent series, and we should enjoy more excitement. On the other hand, St. Louis continued its streak against the Wild and took the lead in this tie. The visitors aim for another success that should bring them closer to the next stage in the post-season.
Minnesota Wild – Can they stop losing against the Blues?
The Wild continued to struggle against the Blues, and it resulted in a heavy 4-0 loss in the series opener. Although they entered the post-season after beating the Flames and the Avalanche at home, Minnesota was simply not competitive enough in Game 1. They had ten penalty minutes more than their rivals and also six shots less. Eventually, the Wild failed to find the back of the net, and they go to this game with the imperative of winning. Otherwise, they could go on a trip to St. Louis being 2-0 down in this series.
Minnesota’s charts remained quite empty after the first encounter against the Blues. Marcus Foligno had 14 penalty minutes, while Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala, and the lads were not clinical enough in front of the rival’s goal. Kaprizov remains the Wild most efficient player with 47 goals and 61 assists, while Kevin Fiala contributed with 85 points during the regular season. On the other hand, Marc-Andre Fleury conceded four times and had 27 saves in Game 1 for a .871 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Marc-Andre Fleury, Jonas Brodin, Alex Goligoski, Kevin Fiala, Ryan Hartman, Kirill Kaprizov
with best odds
St. Louis Blues – Will their excellent streak against the Wild be extended?
The Blues got used to beating the Wild, and they celebrated another victory on the road. This one is very valuable, as it puts St. Louis in a more dominant position in this tie. The pressure is now on the hosts to succeed, and the Blues could turn it over to their advantage. It was their sixth straight success against the Wild, and they managed to beat this opponent ten times on the previous 11 occasions. This victory also got St. Louis back to the winning track after losing twice in a row in the closing week of the regular season.
Ville Husso was unbeatable in Game 1, saving all 37 shots fired by their opponents. On the other side of the ice, David Perron led the Blues to success by scoring three goals and having an assist. Torey Krug also contributed a lot to that victory by logging three assists, while Ryan O’Reilly managed to chip in with a goal and an assist. However, Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas haven’t produced any point in the Blues’ win in the opening game of the series, while they were the most efficient skaters during the regular season for the visitors.
Expected Line-Up: Ville Husso, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Ivan Barbashev, Pavel Buchnevich, Jordan Kyrou
Expert Pick #1 – Blues to win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @+120
Minnesota is a slight favorite in Game 2 as well, but I simply cannot resist backing the visitors as my first pick at the plus money odds. I’ve already stated above how the Blues have been successful against Minnesota, and it’s hard to turn them down in an underdog role.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6 @-125
The Wild produced 37 shots in Game 1, but they failed to get their names displayed on the scoresheet. I expect them to be more productive here, hence I’ll take the Over as my second bet. Both teams have a significant attacking potential to score more than six goals in this encounter.
Expert Pick #3 – St. Louis Blues Over 3 @-105
Consequently, the Blues can play without any pressure and try to stun the hosts again. They scored three or more goals against Minnesota in the previous 13 encounters, and they should continue in the same fashion on Wednesday evening. It is going to be my third pick for this matchup.