In their second straight road game, the Minnesota Wild (42-20-5) visit D.C. to face the Washington Capitals (37-21-10) in their second and final meeting this season. The Wild won the first meeting in a 3-2 shootout victory back in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Wild, who have had consistent momentum as of late, look to keep their winning ways going as they have won eight of their last ten games. Currently holding the #2 spot in the Central Division, the Wild look to keep heading in the right direction.
This time at home, the Capitals look to even the season series and get some momentum going into the playoffs as they currently hold the final spot in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Tonight, they look to take advantage of the Wild’s back-to-back night of playing.
Can the Wild stay hot?
Following yesterday’s 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, it is easy to say they are one of the best teams coming out of the west. With a superstar like Kirill Kaprizov, it is easy to do so, who just broke the franchise record for most points in a single season.
Now chasing the team’s most goals in a single season record, Kaprizov will be looking to continue the Wild’s tremendous goal-scoring pace. This season, the Wild are #4 in goals for per game with 3.61.
A player to keep an eye on, besides the obvious Kaprizov, is Mats Zuccarello. He is one assist shy of 50, which is one shy of breaking another Wild franchise record (yes, another record) of most assists in a single season. If linemates Kaprizov and Hartman can keep getting pucks in the back of the net, then Zuccarello can easily get that record.
Their duo on the back end in new addition Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot, have only allowed 13 goals in the eight games that Fleury has been with the Wild.
With Talbot likely getting the start tonight (due to Fleury playing in yesterday’s game), he is in for a big test with his team facing their third straight playoff team.
Capitals Look for a Big Bounce Back Game
After a rough 6-1 loss to the Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals, currently holding 2nd Wild Card spot in the East, look for a big bounce-back game. With a 6-3-1 record in their last ten games, the Capitals are capable of doing just that, as they have scored 35 goals in that same span.
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom will look to keep the offense going as Ovechkin is just eight goals away from his 9th season of 50+ goals. With other guys like TJ Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scoreless in 3+ games, they look to make a contribution on the score sheet.
In net, look for Ilya Samsonov to get his 37th start of the season. With a GAA of 2.95, he looks to finish the season stronger and hopefully further away from 3.00 or higher.
Defensemen like John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov will be there for a helping hand as they both have been great on the defensive and offensive end of the ice with 10+ goals and a +/- of 9 or better. In this tough matchup, these two will be key to stopping the Wild’s efficient offense.
The line opened with Washington Capitals as favorites with a moneyline of -130 and an over/under of 6. The Wild are 4-1-1 in their last five games, while the Capitals are 2-3-0 in that same span.
The Wild’s games typically favor the over. In their last five games, they have only gone over six goals once.
On the other hand, Washington’s games have gone over six goals in four of their last five matches. We will be looking away from the over/under and looking towards the moneyline in this one.
With the Capitals due to get back on the right track and Wild on the second leg of a back-to-back, the play is Capitals ML. Following a 6-1 loss, they will be ready to shut down the opposing offense while also getting some goals they were missing in their last game.
Ovechkin will look to score his 43rd of the year with help from Backstrom, Oshie, and Kuznetsov.
Betting Pick: Capitals ML -120