The Wild will end their brief three-game road trip in New Jersey after dropping their first two to Florida and Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Devils snapped a three-game skid with an upset win over the Lightning on Saturday. Let’s see which team gets our backing as we analyze this Wednesday night showdown and keep cashing our NHL picks!
Minnesota Wild vs. New Jersey Devils
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 – 7:00 PM ET at Prudential Center
After winning five of six, the Wild has struggled recently with losses to San Jose, Florida, and Tampa Bay with a 7-2 win over Dallas wedged in between. The 5-4 shootout setback to the Lightning was particularly tough to swallow after a gritty effort the night before against arguably the best team in hockey, the Florida Panthers, in which they lost by an identical 5-4 score.
Minnesota can be forgiven if they were a bit gassed when facing the Lightning after trying to fend off the Florida offensive juggernaut the night before. But to their credit, the Wild offense didn’t miss a beat and notched four goals in consecutive nights.
Marcus Foligno tallied on a power play situation for his seventh of the season before Brandon Duhaime, Kevin Fiala, and Joel Eriksson Ek also lit the lamp to send the game into overtime. Tampa’s Steve Stamkos ended the festivities in the shootout round but Minnesota managed a point in the standings.
Minnesota head coach, Dean Evason, appreciated the back-to-back efforts against two of the best teams in the league and said as much, “We went in and talked to them after the game, just said ... we hate doing what we keep doing but we love what we keep doing. We don’t want to do it, but we love resilience. We don’t quit.”
Devils Strike Lightning
New Jersey may be renting a room just one story up from the Islanders in the Metropolitan basement but at 8-5-3, they haven’t been terrible. However, over their three games before their 5-3 victory over the Lightning on Saturday, they suffered consecutive losses to the Bruins, Rangers, and Panthers with a postponement against Ottawa.
The Devils showed tremendous resilience in their Saturday showdown with Tampa after being down 3-1 entering the final period. Yegor Sharangovich got New Jersey on the scoreboard with a first-period goal but the rest would come in a third-period deluge that saw Dawson Mercer, Jimmy Vesey, Yegor Sharangovic (his second of the game and the season), and Tomas Tatar all tally for the Devils.
Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood made several outstanding saves and turned aside 31 of 34 shots. New Jersey has been a middling club on both sides this season as they are ranked 16th in goals-against average and are also in the middle of the pack offensively, averaging 2.94 goals per game.
Wanna Make a Bet?
Both clubs have had plenty of time to rest up for this one so this should be a full-tilt affair from the puck drop to the final buzzer. And if that is indeed the case it bodes well for the Wild. They have more skilled skaters and goal scorers while starting goalie, Cam Talbot, will likely be tending the twine after his backup, Kaapo Kahkonen, got the start in the 5-4 shootout loss to Florida, spelling Talbot after he made five straight starts.
The NHL odds reveal the Wild as -120 favorites and I feel that’s a good price for a very good team that can score pretty much at will. The Devils are not strong defensively and this liability will manifest quickly against a sharpshooting and well-rested team like Minnesota.
These teams haven’t met in two years but if you’re into head-to-head stats then you should know Minnesota has won three of their last four meetings against New Jersey. Lay the small price and back the Wild in this spot. You’ll be glad you did.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.