NHL Picks: Wild to Continue Winning Streak vs. Predators

Bruce Webster

Saturday, December 19, 2015 6:22 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 6:22 PM GMT

The Minnesota Wild enter this game off a solid 5-2 home win and they have now won three games in a row, while the Nashville Predators come in off a hard-fought loss.

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NHL Pick: Wild +116
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Wild Grab Easy Home Win over Slumping Rangers
This may be the best time to catch the New York Rangers as they are slumping, especially on the road trip and that Wild did take advantage of that in their 5-2 home win over New York on Thursday night. It was the Wild’s 3rd win in a row and they have outscored their opponents by a 13-4 count in those games. Mikko Koivu led the charge for Minnesota as he had two goals and an assist in the win. He now has eight goals on the year, while leading the team in points with 28. Also scoring for the Wild were Matt Dumba (5th), Jason Pominville (5th) and Chris Porter (2nd), while Ryan Suter had two assists.

Grabbing the win was Devan Dubnyk, who is now 14-9 with a 2.29 GAA on the year overall, while on the road he has gone just 4-6 with a 2.88 GAA for the year. He has had decent success vs the Preds in his career, going 7-6 with a 2.16 GAA vs them. Minnesota checks in at 7th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, while they are also strong on the power play, converting on 20.8% of their chances, which is 9th in the league. On defense they come in at a very solid 5th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.3 gpg, but they struggle on the power play allowing teams to convert on 22.2% of their chances, which is 26th in the league. Let's check the NHL odds.

 

Preds Blow One under the Arches
The Nashville Predators paid a visit to St Louis on Thursday night and had a lead for most of the game, but then the third period hit and St Louis scored two goals to grab the win. The Preds got a goal from Roman Josi at the 7:14 mark of the first period and held on to the 1-0 lead until David Backes tied it up in the third and then Vladimir Tarasenko won the game with just 5:20 left in regulation. For Josi it was his 8th goal of the year and his 23rd point of the year which leads the team. For the Preds it was just their 4th goal in their last three games as their offense has been sputtering of late.

Suffering the loss in the game was Pekka Rinne, who has been struggling as well as he has now lost six of his last seven starts. For the year now he is 12-15 on the year with a 2.40 GAA, while at home he has been solid this year, going 9-6 with a 1.98 GAA. Against Minnesota in his career he has gone 12-10 with a 2.34 GAA. The Preds are not a good offensive team as they check in at 20th in scoring, putting up just 2.5 gpg, but they have been solid on the power play, where they are 10th (20.6%). On defense they check in at 17th in goals allowed, giving up 2.6 gpg and 29th in penalty kill (76%)

Must Read: Methods for Picking NHL Winners

Trends
Minnesota is:

22-8 in their last 30 when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game

40-17 in their last 57 vs. a team with a losing record

Nashville Is:

0-7 in their last 7 after allowing two goals or less in their previous game

5-16 in their last 21 vs the Central Division

 

Betting Analysis
Going with the Wild in this game as they are the more consistent tam right now, with the better goalie and an offense that has put up 11 goals in their last two games. The road team has also owned this series of late and Minnesota has won the least four meetings here at Bridgestone Arena.  The Preds’ offense has gone away and they haven’t played well vs their own division of late. I look for a solid road win from the Wild in this one. Take the Wild as the NHL pick.

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