Minnesota Wild (35-27-7) at Vancouver Canucks (36-27-6)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 10:30 pm (Rogers Place)
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -120 / Minnesota Wild +100 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Minnesota Wild and the Vancouver Canucks meet in game one of their best-of-five qualifying series from Rogers Place on Sunday night.
The Minnesota Wild benefitted from the adjusted playoff format, coming in as the #10 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a record of 35-27-7 and a .558 point percentage this season. The playoff berth marked the 7th time in the last 8 seasons that the Wild made it to the postseason, but Minnesota is hoping to make it out of the first round for the first time since 2015. Kevin Fiala leads Minnesota with 54 points including 23 goals, 31 assists and 18 power play points while Ryan Suter has 48 points with a team-high 40 assists. Eric Staal has 47 points while Zach Parise has 46 points with a team-high 25 goals, 12 power play goals and 18 power play points of his own this season. Alex Stalock and Devan Dubnyk shared goaltending duties for the Wild, with Stalock posting a 20-11-4 record with a 2.67 GAA and .910 save percentage while Dubnyk had a 12-15-2 record with a 3.35 GAA and .890 save percentage this season.
The Vancouver Canucks come into the playoffs as the 7th seed in the Western Conference with 78 points and a record of 36-27-6 with a .565 point percentage this year, marking Vancouver’s first playoff appearance since 2015. J.T. Miller led the Canucks with 72 points including a team-high 27 goals, 45 assists and 25 power play points while Elias Pettersson also had 27 goals with 39 assists and 24 power play points. Bo Horvat chipped in 22 goals with a team-high 12 on the power play while Quinn Hughes added 45 assists of his own this season sharing the lead with Miller with 25 power play points as well this season. Jacob Markstrom led Vancouver in goal, posting a 23-16-4 record with a 2.75 GAA and .918 save percentage while Thatcher Demko had a record of 13-10-2 and a 3.08 GAA with a .905 save percentage this season.
Minnesota is 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Pacific division and 1-7 in their last 8 Sunday games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 playoff games as an underdog. Vancouver is 2-5 in their last 7 games overall and 0-4 in their last 4 Sunday games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. The over is 12-4-3 in the last 19 meetings between these two teams.
This is one of the harder series to try to get a feel for as you could easily make a case for both to advance out of the play-in round. With that said, all three meetings in the regular season saw the winning team score four goals and the last two meetings combined for 13 goals alone. These two teams like to score goals when they’re playing each other and while playoff hockey is a different animal, I still think these two go over the number so I’ll back the over as my free pick for this game but my stronger play is on the side in the premium area and you can find it here.