|5: TAMPA BAY
Last Updated: 2018-01-02
Air Canada Centre will play host to an Atlantic Division tilt as the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. The matchup gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2, and fans at home can catch it live on TVA Sports.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs Odds
Tampa Bay (+110) is currently the underdog to Tampa Bay (-130), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -110 money on the over and -110 for the under.
Tampa Bay is 28-10 straight up (SU) and has netted 13.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 38 regular season contests, 22 of its games have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and none have pushed. As an away team this season, the Bolts are 12-6 SU.
Tampa Bay currently has the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 25.9 percent of its extra-man chances this year. Its penalty kill is ranked 23rd in the league, and it has successfully killed off 79.1 percent of its penalties.
Tampa Bay, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.2 times per game this season, and 5.2 per game over its last five road outings. The team’s had to kill penalties 11.6 minutes per game over their last five road outings.
Boasting a .935 save percentage and 28.5 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (25-7-1) has been the top option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If Tampa Bay decides to rest him, however, head coach Jon Cooper could turn to Peter Budaj (3-4-1), who has a .878 save percentage and 3.80 goals against average this year.
The visiting Lightning will be led by Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov (56 points) has tallied 25 goals and 31 assists, and has recorded two or more points 19 times. Stamkos has 17 goals and 32 assists to his credit, and has logged a point in 26 games.
Over on the other bench, Toronto is 23-17 straight up (SU) and has earned 1.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 40 regular season contests, 21 of its games have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and just three have pushed. The team’s 11-5 SU at home this season.
Toronto has converted on 21.9 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.7 percent of all opponent power plays.
Toronto skaters have been whistled for penalties 3.7 times per game in total this season, and 4.6 per game over their past five match ups. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Frederik Andersen (31.3 saves per game) has been the top choice in goal for Toronto. Andersen has 20 wins, 12 losses, and one OT loss to his credit and has recorded a .920 save percentage and 2.71 goals against average this season.
Auston Matthews (17 goals, 14 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Maple Leafs.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under
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The total has gone over in four of Toronto’s last five outings.
The Lightning are 17-4 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 15-4 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
Toronto is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 2-1 in shootouts.
Toronto is ranked 9th overall this season with 8.2 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended lower, however, as the team has forced 7.1 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.2 takeaways over its last five.
Tampa Bay skaters have created 6.0 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.5 takeaways per game (ranked 16th in the league).