Minnesota Wild vs. Vegas Golden Knights Pick & Prediction MARCH 30th 2024

The Vegas Golden Knights will finish a four-game road trip when they face off against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday afternoon in Saint Paul, Minn.

Vegas (40-25-8, 88 points) has gone 2-0-1 on the road trip to bolster its playoff positioning in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights have recorded at least one point in the standings in five straight games and in eight of their last 10.

“We’re getting a little bit healthier and we’re playing better hockey,” Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb said after a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. “We’ve been in all the games.

“Obviously, the last game (against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday) wasn’t great for us, but we managed to get a point. Going forward, we’ve got a big one in Minny.”

Minnesota (35-28-9, 79 points) faces a slimmer chance to make the postseason, but the Wild have not given up hope with 10 games to go in the regular season. They are on the outside looking in when it comes to the wild-card race, and they trail the Los Angeles Kings by eight points for the final postseason spot.

The Wild helped their cause with a 3-1 win on home ice against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Despite the win, Minnesota coach John Hynes said he wanted to see a better effort against Vegas.

“There’s certainly some things that we’ll address with our guys to make sure that we clearly understand there’s a certain way we need to play and there’s a certain standard we need to play with,” Hynes said. “And we’ve got to be much better than we were (in our last game).”

Minnesota could go with Filip Gustavsson (19-15-4, 3.10 goals-against average, .898 save percentage) or Marc-Andre Fleury (16-12-5, 2.86 GAA, .899 save percentage) in net. Gustavsson made the most recent start and earned the victory after stopping 26 of 27 shots against San Jose.

In four career appearances against Vegas, Gustavsson is 1-1-1 with a 2.95 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Fleury has faced the Golden Knights (one of his former teams) three times, and he is 1-2-0 with a 3.43 GAA and a .906 save percentage in those games.

The Golden Knights likely will counter with Logan Thompson (21-12-5, 2.68 GAA, .909 save percentage). Thompson has taken on a more prominent role with Adin Hill out due to injury and 25-year-old Jiri Patera stepping in as an occasional backup.

Thompson has faced the Wild three times in his career. He is 1-1-0 with a 1.69 GAA and a .951 save percentage.

Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said he has been impressed by Thompson’s recent performance.

“He’s been playing well,” Cassidy said. “And we need him. Adin is hurt. You’re relying on Patera, who hasn’t played a lot at this level, and you’ve got a lot of hockey in front of you. We need (Thompson) to be good, and he has been.

“There’s an opportunity for him to get more starts. I think every young goalie wants that. He’s really taken advantage of it. We’re all happy for Logan, and he should be proud of his work, too.”

–Field Level Media

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