There is less than a month left in the NHL regular season, and playoff races are heating up in each conference. This week is full of games that can impact the playoff race, but we turn to Thursday night to find our NHL Game of the Week. The Toronto Maple Leafs host the Nashville Predators at the ScotiaBank Arena in what could be an offensive shootout.
Toronto enters the week in third place in the Atlantic Division with 79 points, but they have lost three straight games. The Maple Leafs could be a threat to win the Eastern Conference if they are playing at the top of their game. Nashville has had an interesting last few weeks, but they enter the week having won two straight games. The Predators have 76 points on the season, and are fighting for a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
Nashville Finding Some Defense
The Nashville Predators have struggled to stop opponents all season long, but they have found some defense of late. Nashville enters the week having recorded two straight shutouts, but they will be taking on a great offensive team in this game. The Predators are allowing over 3.1 goals per game, and they are going to need to find a way to slow down the tempo in this game.
Offense has been a strength of the Predators over the last few years, but this year that offense has come and gone. The Preds are still averaging over 3.0 goals per game, and center Filip Forsberg leads the team with 19 goals scored. Defenseman Roman Josi has chipped in with 47 assists and 63 points, and Nashville will need to score goals to keep up with the Maple Leafs.
Maple Leafs Scoring Goals Like Crazy
Toronto is one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL this season, scoring more than 3.4 goals per game. The Maple Leafs are converting on close to 23 percent of their chances on the power play, and they love to take chances to create scoring opportunities. This has caused the Maple Leafs to allow over 3.2 goals per game, but they want to play fast and loose.
Center Auston Matthews has been a rising star in the NHL over the last few years, but he is now a superstar. Matthews leads the team with 46 goals and 79 points this season, and he is always looking to create some offense. Mitch Marner has notched 49 assists, and he can score goals as well.
Toronto Gets Job Done at Home
This game is extremely important for both teams as they try to make a push for the playoffs. Nashville enters the week playing some of their best hockey of the season, while the Maple Leafs have really struggled of late. Both teams have been high scoring teams all season long, and this could be a high scoring affair. Nashville has the talent and toughness to win this game, but they will come up just short. Bet the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Nashville Predators in the NHL Game of the Week.