Matthews, Marner has Maple Leafs Piling up the Points
Games in early April don’t get much better than this as the teams sitting in first and second place in arguably the toughest division in the NHL get to square off.
Florida leads the Eastern Conference in points percentage since January while Toronto ranks third. The Panthers and Maple Leafs are the top two scoring teams in the NHL during that time with Florida averaging 4.4 goals per game and Toronto not far behind at 4.2.
Toronto could get defenseman Jake Muzzin back for Tuesday’s game. Muzzin hasn’t played since February 21 due to a concussion. Muzzin has played more than 20 minutes in 27 of 41 contests this season. Winger William Nylander, who missed Monday’s win over Tampa Bay due to illness, is questionable. Nylander is third on the team with 26 goals.
Florida continues to play without star defenseman Aaron Ekblad due to a lower-body injury. Ekblad, fourth on the Panthers with 57 points, hasn’t played since March 18. The Panthers are 6-1 since Ekblad was injured with the only loss coming to Toronto.
Toronto is 5-2-1 on the back end of games when playing on back-to-back days. That includes a 5-2 win over Florida on March 27.
Florida (+550) has the second-best odds to win the Stanley Cup championship while Toronto (+1200) is tied for fifth.
Marner, Matthews leading Maple Leafs’ Surge
The Edmonton duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have won the last two Hart Memorial Trophies as the MVP of the NHL but it would be hard to find another tandem playing better right now than Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner.
Since the start of January, there is no NHL player with more points than Marner who has 23 goals and 40 assists over his last 36 games. Matthews’ 34 goals in 2022 are four more than his closest competitor.
• 47 goals in last 47 games
• 4 hat tricks this season (1st)
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 5, 2022
Matthews has points in each of his last 13 games and has goals in each of his last six games. He has had three hat tricks since January 31. His 54 goals this season are not only the most in the NHL but also matches Rick Vaive’s franchise record. His next goal will give him the share of the record for most goals by an American-born player. Toronto has lost three of the last four games when Matthews failed to register a point.
Marner has six goals and 16 assists in his last 10 games as Toronto is 8-2.
The NHL betting lines total has gone over in four of Toronto’s last five games and in eight of the last nine road games.
Home-ice advantage has been rather kind to the Panthers
There’s no place like home, especially for a team as talented as the Florida Panthers. Florida is tied with Colorado with 28 home victories. However, it would be easy to forgive the Panthers if they forgot what it felt like to win at home.
Nine of the Panthers’ last 11 games have been on the road. The last time Florida faced a team currently in playoff position at FLA Live Arena was on February 27
The Panthers average more goals per game (4.68) at home than any other team and are the only NHL team to put up more than 40 shots per game at home.
Jonathan Huberdeau leads the way as his 57 points in home games are the most of any player in the NHL, three more than current NHL scoring leader Connor McDavid. Huberdeau has scored at least two points in 13 of 34 home games.
He is also one of eight Panthers with at least 10 goals at home this season led by Sam Bennett who had scored 20 of his 24 goals on home ice.
Five of Florida’s last seven games went over the NHL Vegas odds total.
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Head-to-Head
Neither team has won three straight games in this evenly matched series since Toronto accomplished the feat in 2016. The Maple Leafs are trying to make it three in a row against the Panthers again. Toronto won the first meeting between the teams this season with a 5-2 home victory on March 27.
Something to keep in mind for those who bet online, each of the last five games in the series has gone over the total with 47 goals scored in the five contests.
Florida has won six of the last seven home games against Toronto.
After the teams played six straight one-goal games, each of the last seven matchups has been decided by at least two goals.
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Game Information
- Game: Maple Leafs (45-19-5) vs Panthers (48-15-6)
- Location: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida
- Day/Time: Tuesday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Live stream: NHL.TV
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Betting Lines
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Prediction
With the way these teams are putting up goals, it is not surprising to the Toronto vs Florida matchup is the only one of 10 games scheduled on Tuesday with a total of seven goals.
The Maple Leafs and Panthers are among the top five teams in power-play percentage since the start of March while ranking seventh and eighth in penalty killing so this could come down to which team is the more disciplined squad.
As well as Toronto is playing, it is pretty difficult to pick against Florida although don’t be surprised to this game comes down to the wire.