NHL picks: Wild vs. Blues, Kings vs. Avalanche
Let’s take a look at a pair of NHL games on the final Thursday of regular season action!
First we’ll preview a meeting between two playoff-bound teams in the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues. Then we’ll take a look at a matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche.
Fri, May 14 2021, 12:00 AM
The Blues have been below the Wild in the standings for much of 2021, but they’ve had Minnesota’s number in head-to-head play, winning five of their first seven matchups this year. That includes a 4-0 victory on Wednesday night with backup goalie Ville Husso in net. St. Louis should end the regular season on a high note at the Enterprise Center on Thursday night.
Jordan Binnington is expected to get the start in net for the Blues, and he’s posted a save percentage above .920 in both April and May. With confidence in their netminder, St. Louis can feel free to take more chances up the ice.
Not surprisingly, the Blues have been led on offense by team captain Ryan O’Reilly and left wing David Perron during their recent 7-1-3 run. O’Reilly has 17 points in that 11-game span, while Perron has 13. Expect them to attack with success against the subpar Minnesota goaltending tandem of Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen.
The Wild have been led on offense by rookie sensation Kirill Kaprizov this year. But in seven games against St. Louis this season, he’s mustered just three points, by far his lowest total against any club he’s faced this year.
Fri, May 14 2021, 1:00 AM
The Avalanche are colossal favorites at Ball Arena on Thursday night to beat the Kings in their regular-season finale and clinch the President’s Trophy. Bettors will have to get creative if they want a significant payday on Colorado here.
The Avs could have taken their foot off the gas pedal and settled for second-seed status in the West, but instead they crushed L.A. 6-0 last night. There’s no reason to think that they’ll let up in this spot.
Avalanche All-Star Nathan MacKinnon won’t suit up on Thursday, but he missed Wednesday’s game too. Left wing J.T. Compher was able to pick up the slack with a hat-trick, while Mikko Rantanen contributed three assists.
The Kings mustered just 18 shots on Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer on Wednesday night, and may give a similar effort here.