NHL Betting: Minnesota To Go Wild On The Avalanches

Minnesota Wild 2.22, Colorado Avalanche 2.85

Minnesota rode a raucous home crowd to their first victory of the playoffs via overtime and will be hoping Xcel Energy Center is just as loud to help them tie the series with Colorado.

Quite simply, they outworked and outplayed the Avalanche in Game 3 and only a sublime goaltending performance from Semyon Varlamov kept it level for so long. Mikael Granlund netted the winner and was the best skater all-around on the night, he has a reputation as a playmaker but the young Finn had driven hard to the net multiple times and eventually got a big reward.

More serious repercussions from the loss for Colorado is the loss of their best skating defencemen Tyson Barrie for a number of weeks, the Wild's Matt Cooke has been suspended for the knee-on-knee hit that caused the injury and that incident only added further needle between the two sets of players.

They will feel Barrie's absence too, Mike Yeo clearly encouraged his team to step up and be physical at the blueline and apart from Erik Johnson the Avs don't really have anyone else capable of leading the rush regularly.

That pro-active attitude also paid off in the offensive zone by forcing turnovers and in closing down Colorado's top line that had caused them so much trouble, such is the nature of the two lineups that Minnesota will likely benefit in low scoring games. 


Los Angeles Kings 2.45, San Jose Sharks 2.65

With Tampa Bay already consigned to the scrapheap the brooms are out again as the Los Angeles Kings could be swept 4-0 tonight, or indeed you could find the 2012 Champions at 12.00 to recover from their dire position.

In the first Staples Center contest two days ago, that looks to have sealed their fate the Kings threw everything at San Jose and still came up with nothing thanks to Patrick Marleau's overtime clincher.

Through sheer force of will rather than it all clicking together LA managed to finally generate some offence, a couple of powerplay goals helped when man advantage opportunities have been at a premium for them. It's strange to see the preserved core that lifted the Stanley Cup struggling so badly to recreate that dominant slant and credit has to go to San Jose for that.

Rookie Tyler Toffoli wasn't involved in that triumph and I think they need a fresh input, he's someone who has the potential to spark the Kings but isn't being afforded much ice time right now.

In contrast, the youngest member of the Sharks Tomas Hertl is getting on the puck and the winger's couple of goals in the series have been significant ones, the Czech's injury midway through the regular season had a detrimental effect on the team's scoring output and equally so his return to action has proved extremely well timed.

Such is the way their opponents have played that LA's odds of moved out to 2.45, it's desperation time for the Kings and they will be hurting. So at that value, it's worth backing Darryl Sutter's men to prolong their eventual demise.

Best Bet: Minnesota Wild to win at 2.22