The Minnesota Wild and the Ottawa Senators meet in NHL action from Canadian Tire Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Minnesota Wild will look to build some momentum after picking up a hard-fought 4-3 win over Toronto in their last outing. Minnesota fell behind just :07 into the game, and 2-0 5:38 into the opening frame before Charile Coyle got the Wild on the board just before the midway point of the period, giving us a 2-1 score line after a period. Mikko Koivu tied the game in the 2nd, but the tie lasted just over 3 minutes before Toronto re-took the lead. Jared Spurgeon would tie the game for Minny just 1:20 later giving us a 3-3 deadlock after 40 minutes of play before Zach Parise gave the Wild the lead for good early in the 3rd period. Devan Dubnyk got the win to improve to 14-14-3 this season after stopping 38 of the 41 shots faced in the winning effort.
The Ottawa Senators will be out to snap a 6-game losing skid after falling to Vancouver by a final score of 4-3 in overtime in their last outing. The game was a scoreless tie through the opening 20 minutes before Vancouver opened the scoring just before the midway point of the 2nd period. Matt Duchene opened Ottawa’s scoring to tie the game at 1-1, but Vancouver would re-take the lead by the end of the period and jump out to a 3-1 cushion early in the 3rd. Christian Wolanin would cut the deficit in half just after the halfway point of the 3rd before Mark Stone tied the game with less than a minute to go to send the game to OT. It was all for naught though, as Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson would complete his hat trick in overtime to take the extra point for the Canucks. Marcus Hogberg took the OT loss to fall to 0-2-1 this season after allowing all 4 goals on 45 shots in the losing effort.
Minnesota is 2-6 in their last 8 games overall and 1-4 in their last 5 games following a win while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Atlantic division. Ottawa is 1-4 in their last 5 home games and 10-25 in their last 35 games against the Western Conference while the over is 34-15-3 in their last 52 games overall. Minnesota is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
You get the feeling that Ottawa is due for a win at some point after coming up short so many times and part of that is due to horrendous goaltending. Which is why the Sens traded for Anders Nilsson from Vancouver and will probably start Nilsson in this one. However, the Wild have owned this matchup dating back over the last couple of years, and I’m not sure Nilsson is the guy that should start given that he is 1-4 in his career against Minnesota. Either way, the way Ottawa is playing right now makes them fade material until the Senators show some signs of life, so I’ll lay the juice with the Wild in this spot.