Free NHL Picks: Grab Wild -149 To Take The Win Against Devils

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, March 17, 2016 2:45 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 17, 2016 2:45 PM UTC

The Wild skate into New Jersey with a wild card berth still in their sights while the Devils' chances of copping a spot in the postseason dim each day. Let’s see the NHL odds and cash a winner.

Minnesota Wild Preview
Overtime has not been kind to the Minnesota Wild as they bowed for the eleventh time, including two shootout losses, on Tuesday night to the Senators in Ottawa. Minnesota was installed as -135 road chalk by the NHL odds makers and failed to make it happen when they fell in the overtime frame 3-2 when Erik Karlsson lit the lamp at 4:29 into the extra session. It was a particularly stunning loss for the Wild, fighting for a wild card entry into the playoffs, due to the fact that they held a 2-1 advantage until Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad knotted the game at two with his 16th tally of the season and with only seven seconds remaining in regulation. Minnesota outshot Ottawa 25-20 but the Senators’ netminder Craig Anderson was solid between the pipes in the victory.

Minnesota now wraps up their three-game road trip in New Jersey after losing three of their last four games. The team ranks 18th in scoring averaging 2.6 goals per game, 10th in goals against allowing 2.5 goals per game, 16th on the power play connecting on 18.6 percent of their opportunities and a dismal 28th on the penalty kill, holding opponents scoreless on 76.9 percent of their man-advantaged opportunities.


New Jersey Devils Summary
You don’t need to be a mathematician to conclude that if you don’t score, you won’t win. That holds true in any sport and for this edition of the New Jersey Devils that is a painful fact of life. They are dead last in goals scored which has brought them to their unenviable task of trying to vault into a wild card spot trailing Philadelphia by seven points with just 12 games left in the regular season. If their latest “effort” is any indication then the Devils would be better off making vacation plans than charting their playoff course.

In their last outing on Monday night New Jersey traveled to Anaheim to meet the high flying Ducks after rendering a healthy return to all those who included them in their NHL picks as +225 and +220 road favorites with victories over Pacific Division powers San Jose (3-0) and Los Angeles (2-1 OT). After a scoreless first period, reality set in quickly when the Ducks ended the second with a 4-1 lead en route to a 7-1 blowout. Jakob Silfverberg notched his first career hat trick while Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler won 19 of 23 faceoff draws. The Ducks outshot the Devils 27-25 and starting goalie Keith Kinkaid was yanked midway through the third period after allowing six goals on just 24 shots.


Betting Analysis
In their only meeting this season, held on January 10th, the Devils escaped with a 2-1 win in Minnesota. The venue has shifted to New Jersey for tonight’s affair where the Devils have won their last two meetings with the Wild. However, it should not go unnoted that the Devils’ starting netminder Cory Schneider has been out since March 6th and subsequently diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL strain. His return is unknown at this time but if the losses continue to mount, he is most likely done for the season.

New Jersey’s replacement goalie Keith Kinkaid has been all over the map since taking over for the stalwart netminder. In his last five performances the results are as follows: 5-4 OT win over Nashville, 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh, 3-0 win over San Jose, 2-1 OT win over LA and of course a 7-1 loss to the Ducks. The Devils have lost five of their last six at the Prudential Center and own an anemic offense. Meanwhile the Wild will want to atone for their blown lead against Ottawa in their last performance. Minnesota is 5-0 playing on one day’s rest over their last five games and 7-3 in their last 10 contests versus a team with a losing record. Play the visitors tonight.

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Free NHLPick: Wild -149 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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