Stanley Cup Playoffs Picks: Stars Will Prevail Over Wild In Game 4

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 9:42 PM GMT

The Minnesota Wild host the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs series. Can the Wild upset the NHL odds once again and even the series?

With Minnesota down 2-0 in their Stanley Cup playoff series and 2-0 in the first period to Dallas, my selection of the Wild to win Game 3 certainly did not make me look like a hockey expert. 

However, Minnesota scored one of those precious goals with under a minute in the first period, which gave them life and just over six minutes later they tied the game at 2-2. Then the Wild put another puck in the back of the net again with under 60 seconds left in period two, giving them their first lead in a postseason game in over 400 minutes.

With the weight of the world off their shoulders, the Wild were playing loose and free and Dallas was stunned and Minnesota won 5-3, which brought them back into the series and ended mind-numbing seven-game losing streak.

The NHL odds at BetDSI opened the same as Game 3 closed, with Dallas at -120 with the total at 5. Word on the street is the Stars might be going even lower. Can or will this occur and how might this conflict play out?

 

Dallas Has To Be Shooting Stars
No nice way to put this, but after Dallas scored twice in the first 250 seconds on three shots, the Stars played contended. Since they had only given up one goal the previous two contests, the Stars seemingly just wanted to protect the lead with more than 55 minutes remaining and like the past two contests, more or less pushed the cruise control button. Big Mistake!

This is not something that can be proven, just an observation from watching on 60 inch. If Dallas wants to make quick work of Minnesota, they better be prepared to play all 60 minutes. They breathed life into the Wild and only had 17 shots on goal, having 60 total in previous encounters.

Minnesota does play good defense and goalie Devan Dubnyk has been terrific, but the Stars are the top scoring team in the league and they were third in shot attempts during the regular season with 32.

After having 59 hits in initial two contests, Dallas had 18, that right, 18 hits, which is about a milquetoast as a team can be. Either the Stars are ready for three periods of action or the series will be tied at 2-2.

 

Minnesota Has Chance If They Believe
With the Wild down 2-1 after the first period, the between periods interview with interim coach John Torchetti could best be described as - pointed. He did not mince words and basically said desire and effort had to matchup for his squad.

For Minnesota, they just started to believe, led by Jason Pominville, Erik Haula and of course Dubnyk, the Wild realized despite their short-handed players status, they could not only compete, but win.

After the game, Wild players talked about increased confidence and having that carryover to next game, especially at home. Yet, the Minnesota team realizes they did not see the best of Dallas and are expecting a far more intense outfit that still has ample scoring options even if Tyler Seguin has to sit again. Key for the Wild tonight, don't let the Stars shine, as the Wild is 13-3 in past 16 when they permit two or fewer scores.

What To Expect And Winner
Though two teams have won five of the last six Stanley Cups, the parity in the NHL is not a cliché. Dallas should have steamrolled Minnesota in four and each outcome should have been at least by two goals. Yet this is what happens when team lack the passion and desire, which is what cost the Stars.

Minnesota looked like the right choice for NHL picks on Monday, but not tonight. Coach Lindy Ruff has the team ready to go, they attack the Minnesota goal more inside the faceoff circles in their end and do not let up this time. Count on Dallas to reach 16-3 after a defeat by two or more goals.

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NHL Pick: Stars -112
Best Line Offered: at Heritage