Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Air Canada Centre will be hosting an Atlantic Division showdown as the Florida Panthers pay a visit to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s the fourth and last time that the two clubs will go at it in the regular season. Sportsnet will air the game, and the action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 28.

Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

Toronto (-160) is currently favored over Florida (+140), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -115 money on the over and -105 for the under.

Toronto is 45-31 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 4.5 units this season. That winning percentage, the third-best in the Atlantic Division so far this season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team did during last years regular season (40-42). Of its 76 games this season, 39 have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just four have pushed. The teams 26-11 SU at home this year.

The Maple Leafs currently have the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve found the net on 23.6 percent of their extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated eighth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.5 percent of all penalties.

The Maple Leafs, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.2 times per game overall this season, and 1.8 per game over their last five outings at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties for just 6.5 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.

Averaging 30.7 saves per game with a .918 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (37-25-5) has been the top option in goal for the Leafs this year. If head coach Mike Babcock chooses to give him a rest, however, the team might go with Curtis McElhinney (10-6-6 record, .935 save percentage, 2.09 goals against average).

The Leafs will continue to rely on offensive production out of Mitchell Marner and William Nylander. Marner (65 points) has tallied 20 goals and 45 assists and has recorded two or more points on 16 different occasions this year. Nylander has 17 goals and 37 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 41 contests.

On the other side of the rink, Florida is 39-35 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.4 units this year. Through 74 regular season contests, 37 of its games have gone over the total, while 36 have gone under and just one has pushed. As the visiting team, the Panthers are 16-21 SU.

The Panthers have converted on 19.0 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 14th overall and it’s successfully defended 81.0 percent of all penalties.

Florida’s players have been penalized 4.3 times per game this season, 4.0 per game over their past five games total, and 3.8 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 9.4 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

James Reimer (28.4 saves per game) has been the main option in goal for Florida. Reimer owns a 20-20-5 record, and has registered a .914 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average this year.

Aleksander Barkov (26 goals, 49 assists) has been one of the most vital offensive facilitators for the visiting Panthers.

Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Free Picks

NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Panthers, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Florida is 3-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Toronto is 7-2 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in three of Toronto’s last five games.
  • Florida has attempted 34.8 shots per contest overall this season (the most in the NHL), and 40.4 in its last five road games.
  • Nine of Florida’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 6-3 in those games.