Two of the NHL’s best teams on the power play, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning face off at Amalie Arena. Fox Sports Sun will air this Atlantic Division matchup, which gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 25.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds
With a -185 moneyline, Tampa Bay enters the contest as the noticeable favorite. The line for Toronto is standing at +160 and the Over/Under (O/U) is placed at 7 goals (-130 money on the over, +110 on the under).
Netting moneyline bettors 5.0 units, Tampa Bay is 40-22 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked first in the NHL in this young season, is a regression from the 62-20 record that the team posted during last year’s regular season campaign. Of its 62 games this season, 32 have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under and just three have pushed. This season, the team is 20-9 SU at home.
The Lightning have connected on 23.5 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s good enough for sixth-best in the league. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked seventh overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.7 percent of all penalties.
The Lightning, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 4.7 per game over their past ten matchups. The team has been forced to kill penalties for 10.4 minutes per contest over their last five home games.
Averaging 28.3 saves per game with a .916 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (32-14-3) has been the top goalkeeper for the Bolts this season. If the Bolts, however, decide to give him the night off, the team could roll with Curtis McElhinney (8-8-8 record, .911 save percentage, 2.76 goals against average).
The Bolts will continue to rely on offensive production from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov (75 points) has tallied 29 goals and 46 assists and has recorded two or more points 23 times this year. Stamkos has 29 goals and 36 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 40 games.
Toronto has lost 11.3 units for moneyline bettors this year and is currently 32-31 straight up (SU). A total of 36 of its contests have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under the total and just two have pushed. The Maple Leafs are 16-15 SU as the visiting team this season.
The Maple Leafs have converted on 23.6 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 27th overall and it’s successfully killed off 76.1 percent of all opponent power plays.
Toronto’s skaters have been penalized only 3.2 times per game this season, 3.6 per game over their past five match ups total, and 3.2 per game over their last five road outings. The team’s had to defend opponent power plays just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Frederik Andersen (2.98 goals against average and .906 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Toronto. Andersen is averaging 27.6 saves per game and has 25 wins, 22 losses, and six overtime losses to his credit.
Auston Matthews (43 goals, 30 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the visiting Maple Leafs.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Predictions
NHL Pick: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under
Over Tampa Bay’s last ten outings, seven of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 5-2 in those games).
Penalties and power plays could prove to be critical in the outcome of this game. The Maple Leafs are 12-13 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 26-23 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Lightning are 13-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 24-12 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Toronto (1-4 in shootouts) has more experience this season in games decided by shootout. Tampa Bay, however, is undefeated in two shootouts this year.
Tampa Bay may hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s 17-11 in games decided by one goal, while Toronto is 8-13 in such games.
The over has hit in four of the past five matchups for both teams.
Toronto has averaged 10.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 11.7 giveaways per game (ranked 26th in the league).
Tampa Bay has averaged 6.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 7.6 giveaways per game (the 3rd-fewest in the NHL).
The Bolts this season have recorded the seventh-most hits in the NHL (23.7 per game), but that number has risen to 32.2 over their last five home outings.