An Eastern Conference Second Round series is set to begin Tuesday night when the Florida Panthers visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. Florida is coming off one of the biggest upsets in NHL playoff history, while the Leafs finally overcame their playoff bogeyman. Below is my pick for the NHL action between the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Florida Panthers vs Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Pick
The Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs -150
This game will be played at Scotiabank Arena at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
Why Bet the Toronto Maple Leafs:
✅ The Maple Leafs were impressive in the regular season going 27-8-6 at home.
✅ Against the Panthers, Toronto won the regular season series 3-1.
✅ On the road, Florida went 19-19-3 during the regular season.
Florida Panthers Are Riding High
Florida entered the Eastern Conference playoffs in the final week and as the eighth seed, but after upsetting the Boston Bruins they now find themselves eight wins away from playing for the Stanley Cup. In my opinion, this was the biggest upset in NHL playoffs history as the Bruins were the greatest regular season team of all time, but they are now heading to Cancun.
Game seven was a fun one as the Panthers jumped out to a 1-0 first period lead and made it 2-0 early in the second. The Bruins scored the next three goals to make it 3-2, but Florida tied it up with one-minute left in the game. Florida had the momentum all of overtime and clinched the series with a goal 8:35 into the extra period. A massive upset, and comeback, complete.
Brandon Montour, two goals including the one to send it to OT, was joined on the scoresheet by Sam Reinhard and, series winner, Carter Verhaeghe. Seven different Panthers recorded an assist in the victory.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Have Finally Got Over the Hump
Toronto was in familiar territory, but instead of crumbling in another win-and-advance game, they flipped the script and are into the second round for the first time since the early 2000’s. The Maple Leafs had the chance to win at home in game five, but they were not deterred by the loss and took care of business in Tampa’s rink.
In the game six win, Toronto got on the board first, late in the second period, and they held that lead until early in third. Tampa Bay tied the game up just 4:11 into the third period and we went to overtime. Just 4:36 into overtime, John Tavares scored the game winning goal to send the Maple Leafs through to round two.
Tavares and Auston Matthews scored in the game six win. Three Maple Leafs recorded an assist on the night.