Minnesota Wild vs. New York Islanders - 12/9/14 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Islanders (19-8-0) at Minnesota Wild (14-10-1)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild -137 / New York Islanders +124 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Islanders look to keep pace in the Metropolitan division as they take to the road on Tuesday night to face off against the Minnesota Wild.
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The Islanders have been one of the league's biggest surprises this season and they'll look to continue that early season success in another statement game opportunity against a strong Minnesota Wild team who is very strong at home. New York heads into tonight's game sitting a point back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for top spot in the division and are 19-8 on the year which is head and shoulders above where they were last year at this time despite slipping into the postseason but the Isles are legit this year and have bigger things in mind than just qualifying for hockey's second season. Jaroslav Halak is enjoying a renaissance in New York this season and he will get the call in this one against Nicklas Backstrom for the Wild in what is a very intriguing goaltending matchup between two solid rosters.
The Wild have played their way back into the conversation of playoff contenders in the Western Coference with a 6-3-1 stretch in their last 10 games and with a victory in this one they could move to within two points of the Winnipeg Jets. Minnesota has had to deal with the absence of Ryan Suter for the past two games who has been out with the flu but he should be back in this one to give the Wild a boost and against an Islanders team that is very deep up front it'll help out immensely as he will be matched up against the likes of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Minnesota is favoured here and while the price on New York is nice I don't like that they are without some key pieces right now namely Johnny Boychuk and without him on the back end I think the Minnesota attack will be able to do more and as such make the difference in the outcome of this game.