Ottawa at Minnesota NHL Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

Ottawa at Minnesota NHL Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

Written by on March 29, 2017

Probably a more important game for Ottawa than Minnesota on Thursday night in the NHL when the Senators make their only visit of the season to the Twin Cities. The Wild are pretty much locked into the second spot in the Central Division, while Ottawa is battling with Montreal for the Atlantic title. The Wild will be home NHL betting favorites here.

Ottawa at Minnesota NHL Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Thursday, March 30, 8 PM ET Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul TV: FSN+; NHL Center Ice Opening NHL Lines: Wild favored TBA

Why Bet on the Senators?

It’s likely that Craig Anderson will be in net here for Ottawa, and he has been selected as the team’s Senators’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy. The Masterton Trophy honors the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. This has been a very difficult season for Anderson and his family as his wife, Nicholle, was diagnosed with throat cancer. Anderson left the team to be with her, but later rejoined the Senators at her urging on Oct. 30. He later took another two months of leave to be with her during her treatment before returning to the team again in March. Despite all of this, Anderson has played he’s been outstanding with a 2.32 GAA and .927 save percentage in 34 starts. Coach Guy Boucher said winger Mark Stone “did fine” Saturday in his first contest since a seven-game absence because of a leg injury, but he expected Stone’s play to continue to improve. The Sens aren’t great offensively and need Stone back in the swing of things. Ever since their road-trip sweep of the Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche — the 27th, 29th and 30th-ranked defensive teams in the NHL — the Ottawa Senators have scored 11 goals in seven games. Boucher wouldn’t put a finger on when defenseman Marc Methot might be return from the injury to his left pinky because of that nasty Sidney Crosby slash last Thursday. The team is hoping by the playoffs. “We (originally) said weeks and that hasn’t changed,” Boucher said. “I think, in the next three or four days, we’re going to have a better idea of what specifically it is and what extent (the damage) is. It won’t be day to day, for sure, for sure, for sure. It will be weeks. How many weeks, I don’t know.” Senators top prospect Colin White has signed an amateur tryout with the Binghamton Senators. White will join the “Baby Sens” immediately and that’s where he’ll stay for the rest of the 2016-17 season. He’s heading to the AHL because Ottawa isn’t willing to burn the first year of his entry-level contract.

Why Bet on the Wild?

The Wild should go with Devin Dubnyk in net here. He has 37 wins along with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage, but March has been a difficult month for him. Dubnyk has a 3-8- 1 record with a 2.76 GAA and an .898 save percentage during that time. The entire team is struggling of late. From the season opener through Feb. 28, the Wild ranked second in the NHL in goals per game (3.38), third in goals-against (2.38), first in shooting percentage (. 122) and second in save percentage (. 924). From March 1 to now, the Wild rank 25th in goals per game (2.21), 26th in goals-against average (3.07), 29th in shooting percentage (. 067) and 28th in save percentage (.886). Nino Niederreiter has scored no goals in the past 15 games and one in the past 20. Mikko Koivu has scored two in the past 24 games, Jason Pominville one in the past 20, Jason Zucker one in the past 14, Erik Haula one in the past 18, Zach Parise two in the past 12 and Charlie Coyle four in the past 37. Martin Hanzal has scored one goal in 13 games with the Wild. With the playoffs right around the corner, this game is an excellent opportunity for Minnesota to make a statement and settle some uneasiness that is growing throughout the fan base. Wild players have made it clear that they want to play well and get some big wins heading into the playoffs. “There are only six games left and we’ve got to get ready for the playoffs but we need to go game by game and get ready for every single game and get better all the time,” Mikael Granlund said. “When it’s playoff time, it’s that time, but right now we need to focus on this one.” Minnesota won in Ottawa 2-1 in OT on Nov. 13. Matt Dumba scored late in the extra session and Darcy Kuemper stopped 35 shots. Ryan Suter scored a short-handed goal in the first period and Kuemper helped the Wild kill off three early power plays.

Ottawa at Minnesota Free Pick: Minnesota Wild

Wild are still one of NHL’s better teams at home despite this recent slump. The win here and go under the total that will likely be set at 5.