Minnesota Wild (29-21-7) at Edmonton Oilers (17-32-10)
|Date & Time||Friday February 20, 2015, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Edmonton Oilers +171 / Minnesota Wild -190 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Oilers look for their 11th home win of the season as they host the Minnesota Wild and former goaltender Devan Dubnyk at Rexall on Friday.
The Minnesota Wild have been the hottest team in the league over the last few weeks and have really asserted themselves as a playoff contender but the heavy lifting isn't done yet as they're still five points back of the Jets for fourth in the Central and three back of the Flames for the second wild card spot. The Wild are a team that pulled off an upset in seven games against the Avalanche last season and were expected to compete for the Central division title this year and while that is a long gone pipe dream at this point getting into the playoffs is still a very real possibility and with the roster they have and the goaltending they have gotten from Dubnyk it is tough to think they won't get in. Minny still has a losing record on the road which is a tad concerning but they have dominated the Oilers in Edmonton of late and with Dubnyk returning to play his old team with very hostile feelings with the way things ended you can bet he will turn his game up even more in this one tonight.
The Oilers have come on a bit in the second half of the season and while it isn't saying a whole lot considering the hole they dug themselves into in the first half it is nice to see them trending in the right direction with some of their top picks starting to produce. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been the best Oilers forward all season and thought-to-be bust Nail Yakupov has really come along in the last two weeks and if those two can continue to fill the void left by Taylor Hall then Edmonton could play spoiler down the stretch as I don't see them being overly concerned with landing the top draft pick – a battle that seems to have been won by the Buffalo Sabres already. However, this is not a good spot for Edmonton as they get a team that always plays well against them playing at a very high level with a goaltender who is out of his mind right now and has revenge on the table? Good luck.