The Dallas Stars will attempt to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole as they host the Minnesota Wild for Game 2 of the First Round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. We’re in Texas, sharing our NHL odds series, making a Wild-Stars Game 2 prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.

The Wild won a double-overtime thriller 3-2 against the Stars in Game 1 in Texas. Initially, both teams spent the first period feeling each other out, and neither could score for the majority of the frame. But the Wild earned a powerplay after drawing a penalty to set up a late chance. Then, Jared Spurgeon fired a shot toward the net, which Kirill Kaprizov redirected it into the net for a powerplay goal to put the Wild up 1-0 going into the second period. The Stars drew a penalty and had their chance to go on the powerplay. Next, Roope Hintz plucked the loose puck off the faceoff and fired a wrister past goalie Filip Gustavsson for a powerplay goal to tie the game.

The Stars got another chance on the powerplay a few minutes later. Ultimately, they made the Wild regret it as Jason Robertson came off the faceoff and took a pass from Miro Heiskenen, and slapped it past Gustavsson for a powerplay goal to give the Stars the lead. It was his second career powerplay goal. Later, Oettinger robbed Mats Zuccarello on a one-timer to keep the Stars ahead.

But the momentum shifted later in the period when Matt Dumba unleashed a blindsighted hit to Joe Pavelski. Sadly, the hit caused Pavelski to leave the game with a potential concussion. The linesmen took five minutes to debate the severity of the penalty and ultimately decided on a two-minute minor, to the dismay of the paying Dallas audience. Later, Sam Steel blocked a shot and raced toward the finish line with the puck and backhanded it past Oettinger to tie the game for his first career playoff goal.

The third period featured no goals and sent the game into overtime. Then, Oettinger made two straight pad saves and a glove save in the first overtime to keep it tied. But the luck ran out in double overtime when Ryan Hartman connected off a loose puck that spit out to him and fired it past Oettinger for the game-winning goal to give the Wild a 1-0 series lead.

Here are the Wild-Stars Game 2 NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NHL Playoffs Odds: Wild-Stars Game 2 Odds

Minnesota Wild: +1.5 (-215)

Dallas Stars: -1.5 (+180)

Over: 5.5 (+100)

Under: 5.5 (-122)

How To Watch Wild vs. Stars


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Why The Wild Could Cover The Spread

The Wild fought tooth-and-nail to beat the Stars. Significantly, they made the Stars work for everything and fired multiple shots at Oettinger. Kaprizov got things rolling and helped put the Wild on the board. Therefore, it set the standard for the rest of the night. Steel created a beautiful play and used his speed to help give the Wild their second goal. The Wild spent the rest of the regulation playing tough and grimy while not letting the Stars have any chances.

The Wild also did not have the services of Joel Eriksson Ek, who sat out with an injury. Regardless, they persevered and played hard throughout every second of the game. The Wild did not allow the Stars to score a single goal during 5-on-5. Furthermore, they kept the pressure on. The Wild will cover the spread if they can retain that gritty style and clamp down on defense. Additionally, they must avoid taking too many penalties.

Why The Stars Could Cover The Spread

The Stars excelled in retaining possession. However, they could not do anything with that. The Wild constantly kept on them throughout and did not allow them room to move. Furthermore, the Stars barely had room to move on the powerplay. They scored both goals off a faceoff pass and fired it from a deep spot on the ice. Otherwise, they could not make any decisions without a Wild defender clamping down on them.

Oettinger played his heart out. However, his 42 saves were not enough to propel the Stars to victory. The Stars must regain their composure quickly and bounce back. Also, they cannot allow the Wild to skate freely on the ice. The Stars will cover the spread if they capitalize on any chances they get. Likewise, they must pounce on the puck and prevent soft bounces off the boards.

Final Wild-Stars Game 2 Prediction & Pick

These teams officially hate each other now after the Dumba hit. Therefore, expect another chippy game. The Stars may win, but it won’t be easy.

Final Wild-Stars Game 2 Prediction & Pick: Minnesota Wild: +1.5 (-215)