Paula: Minnesota and Wisconsin face off tonight for the 267th time, with the Golden Gophers holding a 159-87-21 all-time edge over the Badgers, and Minnesota is 6-3-1 in the last 10 games between the two rivals.
Drew: The Badgers are coming off of a weekend where I thought they looked pretty strong. Problem is that Wisconsin only came away with one point in its road series against Michigan. Minnesota is coming off of a grind-it-out, two-game set with Michigan State. The Gophers tied the Spartans on Friday before losing the shootout. It was the second shootout loss that Michigan State has handed Minnesota this season. The Gophers haven’t won a conference shootout but did defeat Minnesota-Duluth in one to win the North Star College Cup. The Gophers are a comfy 10 points ahead of third-place Wisconsin and nine points ahead of second-place Michigan. A Minnesota sweep could dash the Badgers’ hopes to win the first Big Ten regular-season title. I want to pick split, but considering that the Gophers haven’t lost since Nov. 24, I’m going to go win and tie.
Paula: The Gophers swept the Badgers earlier this season, winning 4-1 and 4-3 (Nov. 29-30). Minnesota rides a 14-game (10-0-4) unbeaten streak into this series. Games each night will be carried by the Big Ten Network. Tonight’s contest begins at 7:30 p.m. CT, Saturday’s at 8:00 p.m.
Drew’s picks: 3-3, Minnesota 4-1.
Paula’s picks: I can’t believe I’m picking against the Gophers — as I do respect that streak — but also like Wisconsin’s 13-2-1 home record. Minnesota 3-2, Wisconsin 3-2.
Picks for the other two Big Ten series will be posted Friday morning.