NHL Hockey Betting:  Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Central Division action on Saturday as the red hot Minnesota Wild head to Texas to take on an improving Dallas Stars team. The Wild have been one of the surprise teams of the year surging to the top of the Central and now battling with the Chicago Blackhawks for supremacy. The Blackhawks are currently in first place but the Wild trail but just two points and are in much better form–Chicago is 5-4-1 in their last ten games while the Wild are 8-1-1. Minnesota has only one loss in regulation since November 29, 2016. They’ve been very good on the road this year and that’s been the difference. They’ve always been a tough opponent at home but this season they’re 12-5-5 away from the Twin Cities.

Dallas got off to a slow start this season due in large part to a ton of injuries. They’re starting to get these players back in the lineup and that’s clearly improved the quality of their play. Dallas is 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and they’ve got a solid home record at 12-6-4. Their road record needs improving (6-11-4) but at least the Stars are heading in the right direction. Dallas is now in a four way battle for the third through sixth spots in the Central currently one point behind fourth place Nashville and two behind third place St. Louis. They’re also one up on Winnipeg meaning that they’ll need to keep getting better if they’re looking to return to the playoffs this season.

The Stars have yet to confirm their goaltending selection but it’ll most likely be Antti Niemi. Niemi is 9-7-4 this season with a 2.84 goals against average and a 0.912 save percentage. Minnesota will go with their backup Darcy Kuemper who has a 4-2-2 record with a 3.21 goals against average and a 0.902 save percentage. This will be only his fifth start since November 29 and he should be seeing more action as the Wild look to keep Devan Dubnyk fresh for the playoffs.

The teams have split the two previous meetings this season with Minnesota winning 4-0 at home on 10/29/16 and Dallas taking a 3-2 victory on their home ice on 11/21/16. Just hard to go against the Wild at this point even with their backup goalie between the pipes.