Two of the top three teams in the Atlantic Division are set to meet up on Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena. The Maple Leafs are tied with Florida for first place in the division with the Lightning two points behind.
It’s hard to imagine these teams not meeting up at some point in the playoffs, and this game will provide an excellent preview. The NHL betting lines for this game have the Toronto Maple Leafs as the slight favorite at -135.
Game: Tampa Bay Lightning (16-5-4) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (18-7-2)
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Day/Time: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Lightning vs Maple Leafs Betting Preview
Tampa Bay Limiting Opponent’s Chances
Don’t look now, but the Tampa Bay Lightning suddenly look like the best team in the NHL once again. Tampa Bay currently sits in third place in the Atlantic Division, but they have rattled off four straight wins.
The Lightning have allowed just seven goals during this four-game winning streak, and they will be looking to slow down an explosive Toronto offense. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has posted a 13-4-3 record and he should be solid again on Thursday night.
Head coach Jon Cooper said, “So I’ve got to give credit, they’re finding ways to win,” and the Lightning will look to do that again against a great team. Tampa Bay is also scoring 3.28 goals per game, and that offense has really started to take over games.
Steven Stamkos leads the team with 28 points while Victor Hedman has tallied 22 assists. This Tampa Bay team is starting to click on all cylinders.
Maple Leafs Want to Score
Toronto comes into Thursday night averaging 3.15 goals per game, and that offense can be explosive at times. The Maple Leafs scored five goals in their most recent win, and they usually have a big output when they are winning.
Auston Matthews leads the Maple Leafs with 17 goals and 28 points and will be a key in this matchup. Finding a way to score against the Lightning isn’t easy, but Toronto will be playing a wide-open style of hockey.
Goaltender Jack Campbell has also been terrific for Toronto with a 14-4-2 record. Toronto was not expected to be a great defensive team, but that’s exactly what has happened in 2021.
The Maple Leafs will have the home crowd behind them, and that could give them enough to come away with a win.
Lightning Outlast Leafs in Thriller
There will be plenty of people betting online for this matchup as it is one of the biggest games on the calendar for Thursday. Both teams can score goals in bunches, but Tampa Bay has been the better defensive team of late.
Toronto has not been playing its best over the last seven days, and it’s going to take a big effort to knock off Tampa Bay. This is a chance for the Maple Leafs to prove that they are elite, but they just won’t have enough in this one.
A late goal is going to decide this outcome, and it will come from the visitors. Head to BetUS sportsbook and take the Tampa Bay Lightning +115 over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning +115