Minnesota Wild (44-25-10) at Anaheim Ducks (41-25-13)
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 4, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks / Minnesota Wild --- Over/Under:
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The Anaheim Ducks look to inch closer to clinching a playoff spot as they welcome the Minnesota Wild to town on Wednesday night.
The Wild begin life without their stalwart and defensive leader in Ryan Suter as he will miss the rest of the season and playoffs after suffering a broken foot and they will get their first look against a Ducks side who needs to keep winning to secure a playoff spot. The Wild secured a playoff spot and are likely stuck with a first round show down against the Winnipeg Jets which is an absolute nightmare matchup for them who have a ton of offense and without their best defenseman they could very well be done in four games despite a very solid home ice record. Minnesota is 5-13 in their last 18 meetings with the Ducks but the road team has won four of the last five games between these two sides and with Devan Dubnyk backstopping in the Wild crease they have a very good shot at keeping that trend afloat as he will face off against John Gibson.
The Ducks meanwhile currently hold the first wild card spot in the Western Conference but they can still wiggle their way into a top three spot in the Pacific division as they trail the Kings by a single point. Anaheim has been one of the league’s hottest teams in the second half of the season and with their play hitting a high at the moment they could peak at the right time if they can get into the postseason and they would certainly be a team that teams wouldn’t want to play in the opening round. Anaheim is 7-2 in their last nine games but are just 1-4 in their last five against the Central and while Minny has punched their ticket to the playoffs you can be sure they will be out to prove they can still win games without Ryan Suter.
The Wild are 1-4 in their last five games following a win and 4-1 in their last five Wednesday games while the Ducks are 20-8 in their last 28 home games and 16-5 in their last 21 home games. Minnesota has some adjusting to do and even with Suter in the lineup this is a tough spot for them and expect Anaheim to get a comfortable home ice win in regulation.