Toronto Maple Leafs at Nashville Predators Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Facing each other for the final time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Nashville Predators clash at Bridgestone Arena in an East-West showdown. The opening face-off is at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 22, and you can view the game live on TVA Sports.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Nashville Predators Odds

Earning 17.2 units for moneyline bettors, Nashville is 48-24 straight up (SU) overall in the 2017-18 season. That winning percentage, ranked second in the NHL in this young season, is an improvement over the 41-41 record from the 2016-17 season campaign. 36 of the team’s 72 matches have gone under the total, while 35 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 25-11 SU at home this year.

The Predators have converted on 20.9 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked fifth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.9 percent of all penalties.

As a team, the Predators have been whistled for penalties 4.5 times per game overall this season, 4.8 per game over their last five outings total, and 5.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays for 10.6 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Averaging 29.4 saves per game with a .931 save percentage, Pekka Rinne (40-13-4) has been the best option in goal for Nashville this season. If the Preds, however, choose to give him a breather, head coach Peter Laviolette could turn to Juuse Saros (8-12-12 record, .925 save percentage, 2.37 goals against average).

The Preds will continue looking for offensive production from Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg. Arvidsson (55 points) has tallied 26 goals and 29 assists and has recorded multiple points 15 times this year. Forsberg has 21 goals and 32 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 36 contests.

Toronto is 43-30 straight up (SU) and has earned 5.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 73 regular season outings, 37 of its games have gone over the total, while 32 have gone under and just four have pushed. The Maple Leafs are 18-20 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Maple Leafs have scored on 23.0 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that places it in the top-five among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked ninth overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all penalties.

Toronto’s skaters have been penalized only 3.2 times per game this season, 3.0 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.4 per game over their last five on the road. The team’s had to kill penalties just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Frederik Andersen (30.8 saves per game) has been the primary choice in the net for Toronto. Andersen has 35 wins, 24 losses, and five OT losses to his credit, while registering a .918 save percentage and 2.82 goals against average this year.

For the visiting Maple Leafs, the offense will be coordinated by Mitchell Marner, who has 42 assists and 19 goals this year.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Nashville Predators Free Picks

NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Maple Leafs, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Two of Toronto’s last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 7-2 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The under has hit in four of Nashville’s last five games.
  • Toronto’s attempted 32.2 shots per contest overall this season (ranked 16th in the NHL), and 35.6 in its last five road games.
  • Nashville has allowed 2.5 goals per game overall this season, but has allowed just 1.3 per contest over its four-game win streak.
  • Six of Nashville’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 6-0 overall in those games.