There are but two games left for each team in the NHL regular season, yet we are heading into the final weekend of the season not yet knowing who will be squaring off in the opening round. The Wild Card races in both conferences have been outstanding, and there are a couple of teams that might yet fall back to the Wild Card slot before the season is over.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently sitting in 3rd in the Atlantic Division, and their playoff spot has already been secured. They cannot be caught for that #3 spot, so they need not worry about sliding back and having an even tougher go of things in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. They will play their penultimate game of the season on Thursday night when they host the President’s Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s a game which, in the grand scheme of the playoff picture, really doesn’t mean that much, but both teams will be looking to head into the postseason on a winning note. The Lightning is favored by 1 ½, with the O/U set at 7.
Lightning vs Maple Leafs NHL Spread & Pick for Thursday Night
- When: Thursday, April 4 at 7 PM EST
- Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Odds: Tampa Bay Lightning -120 (Total 7)
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning?
The Lightning has already proven that they are the best team in the NHL this season, in the regular season at least, so they really have nothing left to prove. The question now is whether they are going to look at resting some guys before the playoffs start next week, which is always a possibility when you have the #1 seed all nicely sewn up.
This is a team, that hasn’t really slowed down all season, though, as they are 7-3 in their last 10 games despite clinching first overall quite some time ago. They have been outstanding wherever they have played and are a truly impressive 28-9-2 on the road. They have taken 2 of 3 from the Leafs this season, picking up a 6-2 win the last time they were in Toronto. The Lightning is 17-22 ATS on the road.
- Goals: 3.95
- Shots: 32.09
- PP/PK Percentage: 28.29
- Goals: 2.72
- Shots: 32.12
- PP/PK Percentage: 15.21
Why bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs?
The Maple Leafs saw their season get off to a fantastic start, but they certainly seemed to flatten out coming into the second half. They were overhauled by the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division and are now going to need to settle for being #3 in there, which is not really shameful when you consider the teams ahead of them.
The bigger issue is that Toronto is not showing particularly good form ahead of the playoffs, going just 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. Getting over the 100-point mark, which they can do with a win here, would certainly be a fine achievement, and you need to like their chances at home, where they are 23-15-2 on the season. Toronto is 17-23 ATS on home ice.
- Goals: 3.50
- Shots: 33.20
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.63
- Goals: 3.03
- Shots: 32.97
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.80
Lightning vs Maple Leafs NHL Betting Trends
- Tampa Bay is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Toronto
- Tampa Bay is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 7 games on the road
- Toronto is 2-12 ATS in its last 14 games
- Toronto is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Toronto’s last 8 games
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Lightning vs Maple Leafs
This is a tricky one to handicap, simply because you just don’t know with what type of team Tampa Bay is going to roll out. With that in mind, I would be looking at the Leafs to cover in this one.</p.
Score: Tampa Bay Lightning 3 – Toronto Maple Leafs 2