Minnesota Wild (28-21-7) at Calgary Flames (32-22-3)
|Date & Time||Wednesday February 18, 2015, 9:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Calgary Flames -105 / Minnesota Wild -105 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
If anyone is still waiting for the Calgary Flames to fall off, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Caught in the middle of a highly contested playoff race in the Pacific Division, the Flames and their young guns just keep finding ways to win hockey games. Calgary is 7-3-0 in their last 10 games and are currently tied for second place in the division with the Vancouver Canucks at 67 points. With fifth place just three points behind it’s obviously imperative that the Flames keep winning because a team like the Los Angeles Kings should only get stronger as we head down the stretch. San Jose is going to be a club that could go either way, but there are just so many potential teams in this thing when you factor in the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, and even Dallas Stars. That’s what makes Wednesday night’s contest even more important since it comes head-to-head with one of teams that the Flames are competing with. Monday night we saw the Flames with one of their patented come from behind third period victories against the Boston Bruins. It seems to be happening regularly in Calgary right now but it doesn’t make it any less exciting when it happens the way it did in this one. Trailing 3-1 in the third period it was Jiri Hudler who got the Flames within a goal at the 3:22 mark of the period. Hudler then would convert on the power play with just over five minutes remaining in regulation to even things up and send the game into overtime. From there the Flames decided to make things even more dramatic by waiting until there were just two seconds remaining before TJ Brodie scored the game winner to lift the Flames to the 4-3 win. The comeback started in the second period with Calgary trailing 3-0 when David Jones scored his 11th of the season to get the Flames on the board. Jonas Hiller picked up the win as he stopped all 16 shots he faced after replacing Karri Ramo.
The Minnesota Wild enter Wednesday’s contest off a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, but they’re still playing some very impressive hockey recently. The acquisition of Devan Dubnyk from the Coyotes has been exactly what the Wild needed to get back into this playoff race. Dubnyk is 10-2 in 14 games with the Wild and he did his best to steal another one for Minnesota in this one. Nino Niederreiter scored his 17th goal of the season in the first period to give the Wild an early lead, but Vancouver would tie things up just 42 seconds into the second period. The Canucks would take the lead at 1:33 of the third period and add another goal before Minnesota got their second of the night from Niederreiter to come up just short. Dubnyk finished the night with 23 saves in the loss. This recent hot streak for the Wild have them back in the thick of things as they currently sit just three points behind the San Jose Sharks for the final Wild Card berth in the Western Conference playoff picture. It’s hard to see the Wild finding a way to keep this type of play going, and it’s even harder to see them beating out clubs like San Jose, Vancouver, and Los Angeles, but if Dubnyk keeps giving them the type of goaltending he has since he was acquired they could make things very interesting.
This is a dead even game right now and it makes sense given how well Minnesota has played recently. Calgary is 17-11-2 at home this season and this is a game they have to win on home ice.