Wild vs Oilers Preview and Free Pick [1/31/2017]

Minnesota (32-11-5) at Edmonton (28-15-5)
When: Tuesday, January 31st 2017
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 9:05 ET | TV: FSN North, Sportsnet West

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The red-hot Edmonton Oilers come back from the All-Star Break and host the Western Conference leading Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at Rogers Place. Edmonton entered the Break with an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) after earning a 4-1 victory at San Jose on Thursday that completed a sweep of a three-game road trip during which it outscored its opponents 15-4. All-Star Connor McDavid scored a goal and set up another in the win to increase his league-leading point total to 59 – four better than Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. McDavid, who also leads the NHL with 42 assists, had a busy All-Star weekend. The 20-year-old captain won the Fastest Skater event at the Skills Competition with a time of 13.310 seconds and netted a goal and two assists in the Pacific Division’s 10-3 victory over the Central Division. He also scored in the 4-3 loss to the Metropolitan Division in the final. McDavid (three goals, six assists) and Leon Draisaitl (three, five) both entered the break with a six-game point streak, with Draisaitl leading the team with 19 goals. Center Mark Letestu is one of seven members of the team with a double-digit goal total as he has matched last season’s total of 10.


The Wild enter the second half of the season seeking their third consecutive victory and own a four-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Wild begin a four-game road trip tonight in Edmonton after finishing up the first half with a 5-1 triumph over St. Louis. Minnesota defeated Edmonton twice over a six-day span in early December, registering an overtime victory on the road and a shootout victory at home. Mikael Granlund had a goal and an assist in the win over the Blues to extend his point streak to nine games and overtake Eric Staal (41) for the team scoring lead with 42 – two shy of his career high. Granlund, who also leads the team with 30 assists, has scored two goals and set up nine others during his streak. Veteran Jason Pominville is also hot offensively, scoring twice and collecting five assists on his five-game point streak. All-Star goalie Devan Dubnyk allowed five goals on 11 shots in the Central’s loss to the Pacific while defenseman Ryan Suter posted a -3 rating in 5 minutes, 58 seconds of ice time.

Minnesota might be leading the Western Conference, but the Oilers are for real and their on fire right now. I’ll take the home favorite in this contest tonight.

Pick: Oilers -113