Offense meets defense at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday as the dynamic Boston Bruins (51-11-5) travel to face the suffocating Minnesota Wild (39-21-8).Boston is coming off a 3-0 win over the Jets on Thursday.
The Bruins committed five penalties in the game, though they held Winnipeg without a power play goal. Pavel Zacha, Trent Frederic, and Tomas Nosek scored one apiece for the Bruins.
Jeremy Swayman had a great performance with 36 saves to record his third shutout of the season. Minnesota beat the Blues 8-5 on Wednesday. Ryan Hartman scored twice to lead the Wild. Marc-Andre Fleury surrendered five goals on 36 shots (.861%).
HEAD TO HEAD
The Bruins won the first meeting between the teams this season, a 4-3 (OT) victory in October. Taylor Hall led Boston with three points (1G 2A). Jared Spurgeon (1G 1A) and Mats Zuccarello (0G 2A) each had two points to lead Minnesota. Linus Ullmark got the win despite allowing three goals on 27 shots (.888%).
Boston is averaging 3.72 goals per game for the season, second in the NHL. The visitors will face a tough test against a Wild team that is allowing just 2.63 goals a game (3rd). Meanwhile, Minnesota has found the net 2.88 times a game on average, 24th in the league, and the Bruins are holding opponents to a league-best 2.16 goals per game.
The Wild’s 22.75% power play percentage ranks 10th in the league, while the Bruins are 11th with a conversion rate of 22.22%. Boston has been equally impressive at penalty killing, boasting the league’s highest PK% at 85.65%. Minnesota ranks 13th at 80.93%.
With 90 points this season, fifth-most in the NHL, David Pastrnak is the top skater for the Bruins. He is among the league leaders with 46 goals (2nd) and has added 44 assists. In the net, Ullmark (33-5-1) is Boston’s top goaltender by goals against average.
He has a 1.97 GAA, best in the league, and a .935% save percentage, also best. Kirill Kaprizov leads the Wild in scoring with 74 points. He has 39 goals (7th) and 35 assists. Filip Gustavsson (17-8-5) has the best goals against average for Minnesota at 2.01, second-best in the league.
He has a save percentage of .931%, also second-best. Fleury (22-13-3) has played the most games in net for the Wild this season. He has a 2.82 GAA and a .908% save percentage.
HOME AND AWAY
Boston is 24-8-2 on the road this season. Minnesota is 21-10-3 at Xcel Energy Center this season.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
Boston Bruins (-165)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.