Battle of Two of the Top Teams in the Eastern Conference
The Toronto Maple Leafs will head to Amalie Arena on Monday evening to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in an Atlantic Divisional matchup. This will be the third of four games against one another as they split the first two games with a 5-3 Lightning road win back on December 9. Toronto is currently third in the Atlantic Division (42-19-5, 89 points) while Tampa Bay is sitting in second in the Atlantic Division (42-18-6, 90 points) so far.
These teams are currently slated to play in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs if the season ended today so this could be an extremely interesting game. Let’s take a deeper dive into the Maple Leafs and the Lightning to determine which side we should be betting in this game.
Can the Tampa Bay Lightning Defense Stop the Toronto Maple Leafs?
The Maple Leafs are doing extremely well offensively as they are averaging 3.68 goals on 34.6 shot attempts this season. Center Auston Matthews is leading the charge as he is tied for first in the sport in goals and fifth in hockey in points as he has posted 85 points (49 points, 36 assists) while adding eight points in his last five games. Defensively, Toronto is giving up 3.03 goals on 30.7 shots thus far. With the injuries inside of the net, goalie Erik Kallgreen is expected to be goalie here as he is 3-2-1 with 2.64 goals allowed per game and a .911 save percentage.
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos is tied for 19th in the league in goals, tied for 26th in the league in assists, and 18th in all of hockey in points as he recorded 73 points (30 goals, 43 assists) and scored seven points in his previous four games. They have been doing well on the offensive end as they are scoring 3.29 goals on 30.3 shots right now. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been one of the best goalies in the entire sport as he is 34-14-4 with a .919 save percentage and 2.38 goals allowed per game. On the defensive side of things, the Lightning are allowing 2.74 goals on 29.7 shot attempts thus far.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Prediction
The huge difference as of late has been on the defensive side of the ice as the Maple Leafs are allowing 3.6 goals in their previous five games while the Lightning are giving up 1.7 goals in their last three games. With Toronto having three goalies on the Injury Report, including Petr Mrazek, the Maple Leafs are struggling as they are down to their third-string goalie right now. Neither team has done well against the spread this season so that will not really help us here. All in all, go with the Tampa Bay Lightning to cover the puck line in their home building.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.