Free NHL Consensus Playoffs Picks: Minnesota Hosts Winnipeg After Dropping First Two Games
The NHL Playoffs continue Sunday with four matchups. The NHL Playoffs have been heating up and will get more exciting as the series begins to shift hosts in Game 3. Winnipeg and Minnesota’s series shifts back to Minnesota on Sunday. Here is my best bet for April 15. Odds can be found at BetOnline.
Winnipeg Jets vs Minnesota Wild Prediction
The Wild finished the season as the third seed in the Central Division. Minnesota went 45-26-11 but have fallen to 0-2 in the Playoffs. The Wild need to get a win if they want to keep this series in reach. Winnipeg finished 52-20-10, which was good enough for second in the entire NHL.
The Jets won the regular season series against the Wild 3-1. The Jets were able to go 2-0 at home during the regular season against the Wild but went 1-1 on the road. The Jets outscored the Wild during the season series 14-10.
In Game 1, the Jets were able to pull away with a tight 3-2 victory. Winnipeg found themselves down 2-1 early in the third period, but goals by Patrik Laine and Joe Morrow gave the Jets the edge to win the game. Devan Dubnyk stopped 37 shots. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 18 of 20 shots.
The Jets and Winnipeg once again found themselves scoreless after the first period in Game 2. Tyler Myers opened the scoring in the second period and the Jets managed to score four straight goals. Zach Parise scored a late goal in the third period, but the Jets finished with a 4-1 win. Hellebuyck had 16 saves. Dubnyk turned away 40 shots.
The Jets could have Tobias Enstrom, Matt Hendricks and Mathieu Perreault return for Game 3 of this series. Dmitry Kulikov will miss Game 3 for Winnipeg. Gustav Olofsson could return for Minnesota on Sunday night. Luke Kunin and Ryan Suter are out.
Devan Dubnyk, although he has gone 0-2 in this season’s playoffs, has played well for the Wild. Dubnyk will step on the ice on Sunday with a .917 save percentage and a 3.56 GAA. He had a .918 save percentage during the regular season and a 2.53 GAA.
Winnipeg Jets (-104) at Minnesota Wild (-106)
Connor Hellebuyck has faced a total of 37 shots through the first two games. Hellebuyck has a .919 save percentage and a 1.51 GAA. During the regular season, Hellebuyck had a save percentage of .924 and a 2.36 GAA.
Minnesota has fallen in the series, but when teams go down 2-0 before returning home, they typically win the third game of the series. I believe it will be no different on Sunday night. The Wild were able to grab the third seed in a tight Central Division, which shows they are not a bad team. This Minnesota core has played in many playoff runs over the last couple of years. I believe that they will be able to keep the series close as it shifts back to Minnesota.
The money line has Minnesota listed as -106, which is close to even. I believe that Minnesota should be much bigger favorites, which makes them an appealing pick. The Wild will be only one game from elimination if they lose, so Minnesota will be fighting for their lives.