Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A game between two teams that are squarely in the playoff hunt, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs collide at Air Canada Centre in an Atlantic Division tilt. The first puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, February 12, and it can be caught live on TVA Sports.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

Each team currently has an identical -110 moneyline for this matchup, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at an even 6 goals (-120 to bet the under, +100 for the over). Tampa Bay is 38-17 straight up (SU) and has earned 12.4 units for moneyline bettors this season. 34 of its matches have gone over the total, while 21 have gone under and none have pushed. The Bolts are 19-11 SU on the road in 2017-18. Tampa Bay currently has the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s found the net on 24.2 percent of its extra-man chances this season. Its penalty kill is ranked 22nd out of 31 teams, and the teams successfully killed off 78.6 percent of its penalties. For the team as a whole, the Bolts have been penalized 4.1 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, 3.8 per game over its past five games total, and 4.2 per game over its last five road outings. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays 8.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. With a .929 save percentage and 29.3 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (33-13-2) has been the top option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If Tampa Bay chooses to rest him, however, head coach Jon Cooper could turn to Louis Domingue (2-9 record, .877 save percentage, 3.88 goals against average). The visiting Lightning have relied on Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos this year. Kucherov (69 points) has tallied 29 goals and 40 assists, and has recorded multiple points 23 times. Stamkos has 21 goals and 43 assists to his credit (and has notched a point in 37 games). Over on the other bench, Toronto is 33-24 straight up (SU) and has netted 2.1 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 57 regular season contests, 28 of its games have gone under the total, while 25 have gone over and just four have pushed. It’s 17-10 SU at home this season. The Maple Leafs have converted on just 20.5 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked fifth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.8 percent of all opponent power plays. Toronto players have been sent to the penalty box only 3.4 times per game in total this season, and 1.6 per game over their last five home outings. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 5.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Frederik Andersen (30.9 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for the Maple Leafs. Andersen has 28 wins, 19 losses, and four overtime losses to his credit and has maintained a .921 save percentage and 2.65 goals against average this season. The Leafs will be led on offense by Auston Matthews (26 goals, 18 assists).

Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs Free Picks

Prediction: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Seven of Toronto’s last ten outings have been decided by two or more goals. The team is 5-2 overall in those games.
  • The Maple Leafs are 16-10 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Lightning are 10-4 SU when they spend more time in the box than the opposition.
  • Tampa Bay is 2-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Toronto is 5-1 in shootouts.
  • The under has hit in three of Toronto’s last five games.
  • Toronto has scored 3.3 goals per game overall this year, but is averaging 5.3 per contest over its three-game winning streak.
  • Toronto is ranked 29th this season with 11.9 giveaways per game. That figure has trended higher lately, as it’s averaged 13.8 giveaways over its last 10 games and 15.6 giveaways over its last five.
  • Tampa Bay skaters have averaged 9.2 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 8.4 giveaways per game (the 10th-fewest in the NHL).