Two Central Division teams with win streaks face off on Sunday afternoon as the Minnesota Wild take on the division-leading Dallas Stars.
The Wild are in the midst of a back-to-back, having defeated the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout Saturday night. Saturday’s contest is the first of a four-game road trip for Minnesota.
The Stars are atop the Central Division with 32 points, six clear of the Wild, and have won back-to-back games over the Blues and Ducks.
Can Dallas keep it going or will Minnesota win its fourth straight? Keep reading our NHL picks and predictions for Wild vs. Stars below to find out.
Wild vs Stars best odds
Wild vs Stars picks and predictions
One event should occur on Sunday’s afternoon game between the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars and that is lots of penalties. The Wild are third in penalty minutes with 306 and the Stars are sixth with 294.
Fortunately for both teams, they are decent on the penalty kill with Dallas ranking third at 93.9% and Minnesota coming in at 11th at 79.7%.
The Wild are also 11th in power-play conversion at 25.7%, but they should find it harder to convert when they have the man advantage tonight.
A big reason for that is Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell. He is on the first penalty-kill unit and sometimes hangs around with the second unit. He is averaging 4:27 of ice time on the penalty kill, the highest amount of ice time for a player since 2008-09.
He is second on the team in plus/minus at +15 and earned the praise of head coach Peter DeBoer, who told the Dallas Morning News how impressed he was with his play.
“He’s got real good feet,” DeBoer said. “He closes quickly. He’s aggressive, makes aggressive reads and he’s a strong guy. I think penalty killing is a lot of one-on-one battles for pucks and clears. There are not many guys that come out of puck battles with the puck against him.”
When the Stars have the man advantage, they are converting at a 30% rate, good for second in the NHL. Dallas fans can thank left-winger Jason Robertson in part for that. The 23-year-old has six goals and eight assists on the power play and is just behind Lindell in plus/minus at +14.
It's part of the impressive season Robertson is having. He is leading the league with 22 goals and is third in points (39).
FanDuel has a prop bet of power play points for Robertson and the total is set at 0.5. The Over has odds at +132 and with as many penalties as Minnesota is getting per game – at least two per game – Robertson should be in the mix on the man advantage.
I like him to get either a goal or an assist on the power play.
My best bet: Jason Robertson Over 0.5 power-play points (+132 at FanDuel)
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Wild vs Stars moneyline analysis
Fresh off beating the Ducks in a shootout, the Wild aren’t affected by back-to-back games. In fact, they are 7-0 in their last seven games on the second night of a back-to-back.
This will be, however, the first time the team has played a road game since November 15. The Wild has enjoyed seven games at home, where they went 5-2.
The Wild’s road record is decent. They have a 5-4 record away from Minnesota. I would be more concerned about the Stars. They haven’t played a game since Thursday and rust could be a factor.
If that is the case, it should subside after the first period or so. The Stars rank second in goals scored per game, averaging 3.3 a game. They are also third in points and fifth in assists.
While Jason Robertson has been getting the most attention with his league-leading 22 goals, Roope Hintz has been the one feeding him the puck. Hintz — who just signed an eight-year extension with the Stars — is leading the team with 18 assists.
The Wild are 12th in goaltending, allowing an average of 2.96 goals a game. The team’s save percentage is sixth at .916.
The Wild are +128 on the moneyline, but I would stick with the favorite at -145 as I expect Dallas to handle business at home.
Wild vs Stars Over/Under analysis
With as many goals as both Minnesota and Dallas score, it's surprising to see the total for the game at 6. It's even more startling to see the Over is the underdog at BetMGM. The Over is at -105 while the Under is at -115.
Dallas is second in goals for at 3.83 a game, while Minnesota is 18th at 3.04. Both of their averages combined to go over the total of 6.
Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger is solid, checking in at seventh in the league in goals against average at 2.35. He also has a save percentage of .923, good for sixth.
The question mark in this game is Marc-Andre Fleury. The 38-year-old is 31st in goals against average at 2.92 and his save percentage is .898, which is 37th.
The Over has hit for the Wild in four of their last four games. They have scored three or more goals in their last five games, including a 6-1 victory against the Winnipeg Jets on November 23.
The Over is also 4-1 in the last five for the Wild against Central Division opponents. Dallas is more prone to score a lot of goals at home. In their last eight home games, the Over has hit six times.
Wild vs Stars betting trend to know
The Over is 5-2-1 in the last eight games between the two teams. Find more NHL betting trends for Wild vs Stars.
Wild vs Stars game info
|Location:||American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX|
|Date:||Sunday, December 4, 2022|
|Puck drop:||3:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||BSSW, BSWI, Sportsnet|