NHL Game of the Week: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The 2018-19 NHL season is nearing the halfway point of the season, and the top teams are starting to break away from the pack. Two of these teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs, will square off in the best NHL game of the week on Thursday night. The Lightning and Maple Leafs are the top two teams in the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference.

The Lightning have been the top team in the NHL almost all season long, and enter the week with a league leading 47 points. They are currently on a six game winning streak entering their game on Tuesday night against the Rangers. The Maple Leafs are keeping the pressure on Tampa Bay with 41 points already this season. With the top-two scoring teams in the NHL on the ice for this game, there should be plenty of goals scored.

Lightning Offense is Unstoppable

The Tampa Bay Lightning offense has been almost impossible to stop for opposing teams all season long. The Lightning lead the NHL with 3.94 goals per game, and they have been deadly on the power play. Tampa Bay has converted 29.0 percent of their power play chances this season, which is the second best mark in the league.

Center Brayden Point has been the best goal-scorer for the Lightning this season, leading the team with 21 goals. While Point has scored the goals, Nikita Kucherov has been the true offensive star for the Lightning. Kucherov leads the team with 32 assists and 44 points entering this week. To make the Lightning even harder to beat, they allow just 2.84 goals per game, which ranks in the top-10 in the league.

Terrific Trio Leading Toronto

The Toronto Maple Leafs offense isn't too shabby in their own right. The Maple Leafs enter this week averaging 3.63 goals per game, which is the second best scoring average in the NHL. They are also terrific with the man advantage, scoring on 27.3 percent of their chances. Toronto is allow just 2.80 goals per game, which is slightly better than the Lightning.

The Maple Leafs aren't as deep as the Lightning, but they have one of the best trios in the entire league. Auston Matthews has scored 16 goals for the team, while John Tavares leads the team with 18 goals. Center Mitch Marner has scored just six goals for Toronto, but has dished out a whopping 34 assists. If these three players can have a big night, the Maple Leafs can leave Florida with a win.

Tampa Bay Gets Huge Victory

These two teams will most likely meet at some point during the NHL Playoffs, but each team wants to win the division. The Lightning have led almost the entire season, but the Maple Leafs refuse to go away. This is the first head to head matchup between these rivals this season, and this should be fun to watch. Toronto will be up to the challenge, but the Lightning will come away with the win. Bet the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Toronto Maple Leafs.