Lightning vs. Wild Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Lightning are a -115 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Wild are a -105 underdog, while the over-under is set at 5.5 goals. As of Saturday morning, 81 percent of public bets have come in on Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay enters with a 31-11-1-2 record after a 4-1 home loss Thursday night against the Golden Knights. Minnesota is 24-17-4-1 following a 3-2 home overtime loss Sunday against the Canucks. The Lightning won the first meeting this season by a 3-0 score at home on Dec. 23. Tampa Bay is 2-1 in three meetings since the start of last season. The under has gone 3-0.
In the loss to Las Vegas, Ondrej Palat scored the lone goal for the Lightning on assists from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves on 30 shots in the losing effort. Palat cut the deficit in half to 2-1 midway through the second period, but the Golden Knights went back ahead by two goals later in the period and added an insurance goal in the third to clinch it.
The Wild received goals from Daniel Winnik and Jason Zucker in the defeat versus Vancouver. Devan Dubnyk secured 22 saves on 25 shots to take the loss. Winnik gave Minnesota a 2-1 advantage with 7:46 left in the third period, but the Canucks tied it back up with 3:12 remaining and eventually won it in overtime.
The home team is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings. Tampa Bay is 0-5 in its last five meetings in Minnesota. The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Minnesota.
Minnesota has owned this series on its home ice in recent years and I expect that to continue tonight. The Wild are tight defensively and the Lightning have recently showed a bit of fatigue, such as in the loss to Las Vegas the other night. Tampa Bay still has a five-point cushion atop the Eastern Conference standings and could be on cruise control right now. Dubnyk and Minnesota will take advantage tonight in my opinion.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: MINNESOTA WILD -105