Ice Hockey. NHL
Stadium: Canadian Tire Centre (Ottawa)
Ottawa hasn't beaten Minnesota for 9 straight matches. Will D.J. Smith's team be able to break their losing streak now? Our prediction: the Wild will be stronger again!Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
Ottawa are having a typical season by their standards, not looking to tackle big things. The club continues to rebuild, and it is not even close to completion yet. Nevertheless, from time to time the Senators have good stretches, winning one or two games, but then again they have a string of bad luck. In their last seven meetings, D.J. Smith's team has only won twice, and that came against Washington and Buffalo, who have serious matchup problems. Obviously, the Red and Blacks have no cup ambitions following the regular season, and they currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference standings.
Minnesota is having a very ripe regular season. Since the beginning of the season, Dean Evason's players have started to show good results consistently, and so far they do not promise to stop that trend. In January, the Wild had a terrific streak, having scored in 10 straight matches and won nine of them. Now, the Red and Greens have slowed down a bit, but even that hasn't stopped them from winning three of their last six games. The day before, the team from St. Paul defeated Edmonton 7-3 which allowed them to climb up to third place in the Western Conference standings, while the Wild have a number of games to spare, so they can still improve.
During the regular NHL championships, the teams have played 26 face-offs. The Wild hold a minimal advantage of 13 victories, while the Senators were stronger in 12 games, and another game ended in a draw. The goal difference is also on the American side, 77-76. This season, the rivals have met once, and then the victory was celebrated by the players of Minnesota, 5-4.
Expert Betting Tips
Minnesota is an extremely uncomfortable opponent for Ottawa, as the last nine encounters saw only representatives of St. Paul win. Now they are the undisputed favorites in this game, as the Wild have shown consistently good results in the current regular season, while the Senators are among the outsiders in the East and play very mediocre hockey. Taking into account that D.J. Smith's team can't win in five games in a row, we should bet on the victory of Minnesota with the odds of about 1.80.
Ottawa is a young and promising team, which in itself should hint at bright and attacking hockey in their performance, but lately, they have been scoring little themselves, allowing their opponents just as much. In their previous seven encounters with the Senators, only 27 goals were scored (3.86 average per game), which is paltry by NHL standards. Minnesota, too, is unlikely to insist on open confrontation in their busy schedule and will settle for pragmatic success. With that in mind, we would expect the total to be under 5.5 at odds of nearly 2.15.
Kevin Fiala is having another strong season in his performance. In total, he has played 47 games during the current regular season, having earned 40 points (16 goals + 24 assists), which is really great, but he has been able to add even more recently. In the previous 18 matches, the Swiss hockey player left the ice without scoring only three times, registering 22 points (12 goals + 10 assists), which proves his excellent shape. That's why it is worth considering to bet on his Total Over (0.5) points with odds of about 2.60.