When looking through the opening round match-ups in this year’s NHL playoffs, it was easy to pick out a few that seemed destined to go the full 7 games. These series tend to be the ones that pit divisional rivals together, as their sense of familiarity mean that each team has a pretty solid idea of what the other will do over the course of a 7-game series. If I had to pick just one series from the opening round that would go the distance, my pick would be the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild, Central Division rivals.It was the Blues who won the regular season series 3 games to 2, but all of the games, except for one, were close, going to prove that these two are evenly matched. Perhaps the biggest surprise from Game 1, which the Blues won 2-1 in OT, was that the win came on the road. Of the 5 regular season games these two played against each other, it was the home team that came up with the win in 4 of them.
St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Game 2 NHL Lines & Info:When: Friday, April 14 at 8 PM EST Where: Xcel Energy Arena, Minneapolis TV: NBCSN Radio: KFAN FM 100.3 Live Stream: NBC Sports Stream NHL Odds: Minnesota Wild -1½+145
Why bet on the St. Louis BluesThe Blues served notice that they might be able to steal one on the road in the last regular season meeting with the Wild, which they won 2-1 in Minneapolis. It certainly also helped that the Blues finished the season on a high note, going 7-1-2 in their final 10 games. The Blues look as though they might well be one of those teams that got hot at the right time, and they can apply some serious pressure to the Wild if they can win Game 2 as well. As it is, the win in the opening game needs to be considered job done, as getting a split on the road to start the series is what every team looks to do in their playoff series.
Why bet on the Minnesota WildThe Minnesota Wild are now in a bit of a hole after dropping the first game of the series, but they still have a solid home ice record to fall back on, as they went 27-12-2 at home during the regular season. Their main concern from Game 1 may well be their lack of offensive output, which was uncommon for a team that was among the highest scorers in the NHL during the regular season. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was 2015, and it was the Wild who won that one in 6 games after winning the opening game. They will be hoping that trend does not apply in this one.
- St. Louis is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games on the road
- St. Louis is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 6 games at home
- Minnesota is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games