Minnesota Wild (0-0) vs. Anaheim Ducks (1-0)
October 15, 2021 10:00 pm EDT
The Line: Anaheim Ducks +122 / Minnesota Wild -149; Over/Under: -5.5
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The Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks meet Friday in NHL action at the Honda Center. The Minnesota Wild are coming off a 35-win season and enter the second full season under coach Dean Evason. The Anaheim Ducks look for another win after beating the Jets in their season opener.
The Minnesota Wild was a bit of a surprise with a playoff berth and pushing Vegas to the limits. It will be interesting to see if the Wild can build on such success. The Wild bring in a lot of new faces in Alex Goligoski, Frederick Gaudreau, Dmitry Kulikov, Jon Merrill and Jordie Benn. The Wild need Kirill Kaprizov to prove last season was sustainable, as he had 27 goals and 24 assists in 55 games, leading to the Calder Memorial Trophy. Joel Eriksson Ek is coming off the best season of his career with 30 points and a 47.1 face-off winning percentage. Goalie Cam Talbot may have also finally found a permanent home after a 91.5 save percentage and 2.63 goals against average in 33 games. Four of Talbot’s 12 career shutouts have come in the last two seasons. The Wild have potential and should be eager to prove last year was no fluke.
The Anaheim Ducks are averaging four goals per game and are scoring on 40 percent of their power play opportunities. Mason McTavish leads Anaheim with one goal, Jakob Silfverberg has two assists and Ryan Getzlaf has four shots on goal. Defensively, the Anaheim Ducks are allowing one goal per game and are killing 100 percent of their opponent’s power plays. John Gibson has given up one goal on 34 shots faced.
The Wild are 37-18 in their last 55 games as a favorite and 14-3 in their last 17 Friday games. The Ducks are 17-41 in their last 58 home games and 18-40 in their last 58 overall. The over is 18-7 in Wild last 25 road games. The under is 12-5 in Ducks last 17 overall. The Wild are 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Anaheim and 7-0 in the last 7 meetings.
The Minnesota Wild are the better team on paper and probably should be favored. The Wild were also highly impressive last season in the favorite role. With that said, the Ducks looked great in their season opener, and they have an advantage here, getting the opening game jitters out of the way. The Wild have dominated the Ducks over the years, and the favorite has won seven straight meetings between these clubs. With that said, I still like the Ducks at home and the plus money.