A pair of NHL teams that have been playing excellent hockey over an elongated period of time, square off in tonight’s game between the Rangers and Wild. Join us in reading our NHL consultant’s insightful betting preview article on this contest which concludes with his money line selection.
Intriguing NHL Battle on Thursday in Saint Paul, Minnesota
The Minnesota Wild will host the New York Rangers on Thursday at 8:05 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at 5Dimes, Minnesota is a -125 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. This will be the second and final meeting of the regular season between these clubs. The Rangers skated away with a 5-4 win at Madison Square Garden in the only other encounter.
Rangers Road Kill
The New York Rangers enter Thursday’s game having gone 7-1 in their previous eight on the road. The road isn’t the only place the Rangers have played well, evidenced by a 37-14 money line record over their last fifty-one games overall. However, they’ve gone just 2-3 in the last five, and 4-4 in their last eight games. “The Blue Shirts” will be playing in their fourteenth game of the season tonight versus a Western Conference opponent, and they’re a terrific 11-2 in that role during the 2014-2015 NHL campaign. The Rangers currently have a comfortable 8-point lead over the New York Islanders for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, and are 1-point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens for first overall in the Eastern Conference.
Return of “Sir Henrik”
The Rangers welcomed back star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist from the injured list, and he made his first start since February 2nd last Saturday at Boston. Unfortunately, he and the Rangers were on the short end of a 4-2 score in that game versus the Bruins. The result, and Lundquist’s performance, was much more favorable in Tuesday night’s 3-2 win at Winnipeg. Lundquist turned away 32 of 34 shots on goal during that contest to earn his first win in nearly two months.
The Minnesota Wild has been absolutely on fire since late January. They enter tonight winners of five in a row, and are also a stellar 24-6 versus the money line in their last thirty games. Ironically, four of those six losses in that torrid stretch have come on home ice. On a positive note in that regard, Minnesota averages a robust 3.2 goals per game at home this season. Despite all the winning, Minnesota has yet to clinch a playoff spot, although the prospects of them doing so appear to be highly probable. The Wild are currently fourth in the Central Division and trail third place Chicago by three points. They also hold down the top wild card spot in the Western Conference with a 5-point lead over Winnipeg, and a 7-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings.
This is surely an important game for both teams pertaining to the playoff race and postseason seeding. Devan Dubnyk will start in goal for the Wild tonight for the 35th consecutive game since coming over in a trade from Arizona. Dubnyk has gone an excellent 26-8 for the Wild. This will be the fourth game in the last six days for the Rangers. Contrarily, Minnesota enters tonight playing on three days of rest, and this will be just their third game in the last nine days with each of the previous two played at home. It what should be a game with playoff intensity, I’m favoring the home side for one of my NHL picks on Thursday.
NHL Pick: Play on the Wild -125 on the money line over the Rangers at Pinnacle