Wild vs. Blues: A battle for second place in the Central Division

Marcus Foligno and the MInnesota Wild face the St. Louis Blues on Friday for the first time since the teams squared off in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Foligno and the MInnesota Wild face the St. Louis Blues on Friday for the first time since the teams squared off in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /
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99. 40-20-10. Wild -1.5. 7 p.m. CST. 43-21-5. 98. Bally Sports North . Friday, April 8

The last time the Minnesota Wild faced the St. Louis Blues, it didn’t go so well. Not at all.

Now comes the second of three games this season on Friday night, this time on the Blues home ice. And despite being a 9-1-1 tear, the Wild are a point ahead of the Blues and in a fight for second place in the Central Division.

Minnesota does have a game in hand, having played one fewer than the Blues to this point (69 to 70).

Speaking of fights, this is how NIc Deslauriers looked after a scap-filled loss to Nashville earlier in the week in which the teams fought four times. His toughness/gritty style is a reason why he has quickly endeared himself with the Wild faithful.

St. Louis should provide another physical battle as the Wild complete a four-game road trip. St. Louis has won seven of the past eight matchups between the teams and are 11-1-2 over the last 14 contests in the rivalry.

That run continued at the start of 2022, as Jordan Kyrou had a hat trick in the lone matchup of the season so far,  on Jan. 1 at Target Field.

St. Louis has been on a hot stretch, similar to the Wild’s The Blues are coming off a 4-1 win over Seattle on Wednesday and are 5-0-1 in a current six-game point streak.

There still is a few weeks left in the regular season but the teams could be on another collision course for the first round of the NHL playoffs for the third time since 2015. Minnesota  and St. Louis would meet if the postseason began now and the teams split the previous two playoff meetings.

The teams are scheduled to play again on April 16.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 37-32-17, and is just 13-19-9 in St. Louis. ​The Wild entered the road trip without defenseman Jon Merrill and forward Matt Boldy and while both are  with the team, they are expected to be out again. Defenseman Matt Dumba is sidelined as well as he suffered an upper-body injury against Nashville.

Betting odds

WynnBET has Minnesota  favored by 1.5 goals in second meeting of the season between the teams. Minnesota also are the slight favorite on the moneyline at -115  St. Louis is the underdog at home at  -105 and the over/under for the matchup is listed at six total goals.

Upcoming Wild schedule

Sunday, April 10: Los Angeles, 7 p.m. CST

Tuesday, April 12:  Edmonton, 7 p.m. CST

Thursday, April 14: @Dallas, 7 p.m. CST