Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two of the league’s best at converting on the power play, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning take the ice at Amalie Arena for an Atlantic Division tilt. The match gets going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 20, and you will be able to catch it live on Fox Sports Sun.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

Earning moneyline bettors 10.9 units, Tampa Bay is 49-23 straight up (SU) overall thus far. That winning percentage, ranked first in the NHL in this young season, is an improvement over the 42-40 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Among the team’s 72 games this season, 45 have gone over the total, while 26 have gone under and just one has pushed. This season, the team’s 26-10 SU at home.

The Lightning currently have the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they have scored on 24.1 percent of their extra-man chances this season. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 76.8 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Lightning have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, 4.0 per game over their past five matchups total, and 4.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s had to stave off opposition power plays for 9.2 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Averaging 29.5 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (40-18-3) has been the best goalkeeper for the Bolts this year. If Tampa Bay chooses to give him a breather, however, it may go with Louis Domingue (6-10-10 record, .890 save percentage, 3.49 goals against average).

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will each lead the offensive attack for the Lightning. Kucherov (93 points) is up to 36 goals and 57 assists and has recorded multiple points in 29 different games this year. Stamkos has 27 goals and 57 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 49 contests.

On the other side of the rink, Toronto is 43-29 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 6.3 units this year. A total of 36 of its games have gone over the total, while 32 have gone under and just four have pushed. The Maple Leafs are 18-19 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Maple Leafs have converted on 22.8 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s good enough for fourth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked ninth overall and it’s successfully defended 82.3 percent of all penalties.

Toronto’s players have been penalized only 3.3 times per game in total this season, 3.2 per game over their past five match ups total, and 3.8 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The team’s had to kill penalties just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Frederik Andersen (31.0 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Toronto. Andersen has 35 wins, 23 losses, and five OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .919 save percentage and 2.79 goals against average this year.

For the visiting Maple Leafs, the offense will be facilitated by Mitchell Marner (19 goals, 41 assists) and William Nylander (15 goals, 37 assists).

Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Predictions

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

Betting Notes

  • Toronto has averaged 3.4 goals per game overall this season, but has raised that figure up to 5.0 per contest in their past four games (the team’s a perfect 4-0 SU over that streak).
  • Power plays and penalty kills could have a key role in tonight’s game. The Maple Leafs are 16-9 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 32-27 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Lightning are 25-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 28-14 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Three of Tampa Bay’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 3-0 in those games and 6-2 overall in shootouts this year.
  • The under has hit in three of Tampa Bay’s last five games.
  • Tampa Bay has averaged 8.2 giveaways over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 8.4 giveaways per game (ranked 9th in the league).
  • Toronto has averaged 9.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 12.1 giveaways per game (ranked 28th in the NHL).