Wild ready to draw even with Stars?
In the Stanley Cup playoffs, momentum tends to shift on a dime. Even top-seeded Dallas encountered that unpleasant reality on Monday night.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Stars let Minnesota pot five goals over the final 41 minutes of Game 3. The Wild ultimately prevailed, 5-3, giving the Twin Cities unexpected life entering this evening’s 9:30 p.m. ET showdown. John Torchetti’s group now has odds of -102 to even up the series at two games apiece.
Dallas, a -118 favorite in the eyes of online sports book BetDSI, has designs of regaining the edge that marked its first two victories. Coach Lindy Ruff needs his netminder to follow suit. Kari Lehtonen had been in a 7-2-0 groove before the shenanigans of the last contest, in which he allowed four tallies on 24 shots. The 32-year-old continues to play with more confidence than his counterpart from Minnesota, though. Devan Dubnyk, usually so steadfast between the pipes, is 1-6-0 over the past eight contests with a 2.83 GAA and .883 save percentage.
Unfortunately for the visiting squad, Tyler Seguin may not be available to test Dubnyk’s mettle – again. The Stars’ second-leading scorer during the regular season didn’t travel with the team for Game 3, and very little information has been passed along in the ensuing 48 hours. That puts even further pressure on Jamie Benn, who’s clearly relishing the challenge. The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner boasts a series-high five points.
The Wild’s sudden outburst has certainly thickened the plot in this best-of-seven battle. We expect another topsy-turvy clash tonight, especially given the relative uncertainty with Lehtonen and Dubnyk. The former’s never been in such a playoff spot, while the latter looks nothing like the guy who challenged for the Vezina Trophy a year ago.
WEDNESDAY NHL FREE PICK: STARS/WILD OVER 5 GOALS