The most exciting first round matchup gets underway Tuesday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto finished with the third most points in the NHL, but they are in the same division as the best team in NHL history – Boston. Tampa Bay struggled to end the season and did not get to 100 points, but they are no stranger to beating Toronto in the playoffs. Below is my NHL pick for the Lightning vs Maple Leafs.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Pick
The Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs -152
This game will be played at Scotiabank Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Why Bet the Toronto Maple Leafs:
✅ Toronto ended the season in good form and won five of their last six regular season games.
✅ The Maple Leafs have been solid on home ice, having won 13 of their last 20 games at Scotiabank Arena.
✅ Tampa Bay did not have a good end of the season as they lost four of their last five games overall and six of their last seven road games.
Tampa Bay Lightning Looking for Deja Vu
Tampa Bay will be happy that the regular season has finally come to an end as they struggled since the calendar turned to April. The Lightning entered their final regular season game having lost four in a row, but they were able to get things going with a 5-0 beatdown of the Detroit Red Wings. It is now playoffs time and Lightning fans will have complete confidence in their team having another big run.
The Lightning scored 3.41 goals per game and allowed 3.07 during the regular season. Nikita Kucherov had a monster season as he led Tampa Bay with 83 assists and 113 points. Brayden Point scored a team high 51 goals.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Hope to Finally Beat their Bogeyman
Toronto comes into the playoffs flying high as they won four straight games to end the regular season. It was a tough three-game stretch to end the year with three road wins against the Panthers, Lightning, and Rangers – all playoff teams. The Lightning have been good in regular seasons, but now comes the real test to see if they can finally make a playoff run.
The Maple Leads scored 3.39 goals per game and allowed 2.67 goals in the regular season. Auston Matthews is having a “bad” year for him, but a great year for anyone else as he tied for a team high 40 goals and 99 points. Mitch Marner dished out a team high 69 assists.