Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars Preview & Picks

by

February 8

Hockey returns to TNT on Wednesday night for a classic Central Division matchup. The division-leading Dallas Stars emerged from the All-Star break victorious in their first contest, snapping a three-game losing streak.

All three losses came in overtime, helping Dallas maintain its cushion atop the standings. The Minnesota Wild suffered a heartbreaking defeat on Monday night, and they could be outshone by the Stars again tonight. 

Wild @ Stars Game Information
  • Location: American Airlines Center | Dallas, TX
  • Time: 8:30 pm ET | TV: TNT

Although the Stars have just one win over their previous four outings, their analytics show they’ve been the superior squad. Dallas has out-chanced its opponents in high-danger chances across five straight, accumulating a 64.0% rating

That will hurt the Wild’s chances, who have struggled to contain their opponents lately. The playoff hopefuls have given up ten or more quality chances in five of their last seven, with a rolling average of 11.7. Worse, Minnesota has been out-chanced in all but two of those games, stacking the cards in the Stars’ favor.

Wild @ Stars Odds on FanDuel
  • Spread: Wild +1.5 (-215) | Stars -1.5 (+172)
  • Moneyline: Wild +116 | Stars -140
  • Total: Over 5.5 (-120) | Under 5.5 (-104)

Additionally, Minnesota has struggled to score over its recent schedule. The Wild have just four goals at five-on-five over their previous five matchups, highlighting their reliance on special teams scoring and causing their shooting percentage to nosedive. Minnesota is scoring on just 3.4% of its shots at five-on-five, jumping to 7.5% across all strengths

Considering the state of the Stars’ goaltending, that’s unlikely to improve on Wednesday night. Stars netminders have combined to stop 93.9% of shots over their last six games, including two shutouts. Further, they have the second-best save percentage in the league this season.

The analytics support that the Stars are the team to beat in this one, and the betting price should continue to adjust to reflect that.

Wild @ Stars Picks
  • Dallas Stars Moneyline -140
  • Miro Heiskanen Any Time Goal Scorer +590

It’s been nearly a month since Miro Heiskanen found the back of the net, a rut he should break free of sometime soon, thanks to his elite underlying metrics.

The Finnish blueliner leads the Stars in ice time, ranking third in high-danger chances and first in scoring opportunities. The upside doesn’t end there, as Heiskanen gets 60.8% of his starts in the attacking zone, third-most on the Stars, and has recorded three or more shots in 12 of his last 16 games.

Despite the solid play, Heiskanen has just two goals over the 16-game sample for a 4.3% shooting percentage. The output should catch up to match production, and Heiskanen has value as an any-time goal scorer.

Thumbnail photo via Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

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