The St. Louis Blues (1-0) try to maintain a rhythm against the Minnesota Wild (0-1) for Game 2 of their 1st-round Western Conference playoff series Wednesday. Puck drop from Xcel Energy Center is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN). Below, we look at the Blues vs. Wild Game 2 odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
We said the Blues could steal Game 1, and they did more than just steal it. They owned Minnesota and quieted the Wild crowd as it headed for the exits with time on the clock. The Blues won 4-0 after an insane game by goaltender Ville Husso, who stopped all 37 shots fired his way.
The Wild ringed a couple of posts, but Husso shut down all of their high-danger chances in his first career playoff game. Blues LW David Perron had his first career playoff hat trick. Two of the goals came on the power play.
Things got out of control in a physical game, and the Blues’ special teams were the difference as they went 2-for-6 on the power play and shut Minnesota out on 6 power plays. Wild G Marc-Andre Fleury was actually really good despite the 4-0 score as he made a couple of acrobatic saves to keep his team in it. Minnesota had its chances as star LW Kirill Kaprizov had 5 shots on goal.
Blues at Wild odds and lines
- Money line: Blues +102 (bet $100 to win $102) | Wild -125 (bet $125 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Blues +1.5 (-260) | Wild -1.5 (+185)
- Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
Blues at Wild projected goalies
Ville Husso (25-7-6, 2.56 GAA, .919 SV%, 2 SO – regular season) vs Marc-Andre Fleury (28-23-5, 2.90 GAA, .908 SV%, 4 SO – regular season)
No playoff experience? No problem. Husso was unflappable in stopping all 37 shots to shut out the Wild in Game 1. He was 7-1-2 with a 3.05 GAA and a .910 SV% in April. The Finnish netminder stopped 66 of 74 shots in his two regular-season wins against Minnesota for a .892 SV%.
Fleury gave up 4 goals, but he was not terrible in Game 1, stopping 27 of 31 shots. Fleury was 0-3 against the Blues in the regular season as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks as he stopped 93 of 103 shots for a .903 SV% and 3.36 GAA. The veteran goalie is 90-71 with a .911 SV% in the playoffs throughout his career.
Coming into this series, I picked the short-dog Blues in 6 games and I might shave that to 5 games after Game 1. The public is heavily behind Minnesota in this one as 90% of the cash and 70% of the tickets back them according to Pregame.com.
The Wild should be motivated because they got embarrassed in their own building, but the Blues’ best line of LW Pavel Buchnevich, C Robert Thomas and RW Vladimir Tarasenko were shut out, and they still won 4-0.
That can’t hold, and I have a difficult time fading a more experienced, heavily talented Blues team. The books feel the same way. Despite a heavy backing of Minnesota, their line hasn’t moved much LEAN BLUES (+102).
Against the spread
There is no value in the goal of insurance at -260. The only play I would consider here is Blues -1.5 (+235 PASS.
The Under hit in the 4-0 shutout in Game 1, and we should see a little more offense out of a humbled Wild team. The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 between these teams and the last 5 games in Minnesota. However, this is playoff hockey, and both goalies played well in Game 1. We’re going to LEAN UNDER 6.5 (-112).