The 2022 Stanley Cup goes on Friday, May 6, with the Eastern Conference First Round clash at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, so we have prepared the best Maple Leafs vs. Lightning betting pick and odds for Game 3.
Toronto took the first blood in this series, smashing Tampa Bay 5-0 as -120 home favorites. The reigning champions bounced back in Game 2 and beat the Maple Leafs 5-3 as +115 moneyline dogs. The Lightning are small -115 home favorites for Friday’s clash, while the totals sit at 6.5 goals on Bookmaker Sportsbook.
The Maple Leafs slowed down in Game 2
The Toronto Maple Leafs were terrific in the opening clash of this series, holding the reigning champs to only 24 shots. Auston Matthews netted a couple of goals and made one assist, while Mitchell Marner scored a goal and had a couple of dishes.
The Maple Leafs failed to replicate this performance last Wednesday. They allowed 34 shots to the Bolts, who had a 3-1 lead at the end of the second period. After just 5:38 of play in the third, the Maple Leafs trailed by four goals, while Marner and Alexander Kerfoot scored consolation goals down the stretch.
After posting a shutout in the opener, Jack Campbell yielded five goals in Game 2. The 30-year-old netminder went 31-9-6 last regular season, posting a 2.64 GAA and .914 save percentage. He also had five shutouts.
The Lightning need more from their defense
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a bad day in the office in Game 1, though they took 20 hits more than their opponents (56-36). It was a violent contest, as the Bolts and Maple Leafs combined for a whopping 113 penalty minutes.
The reigning champs played well in the second game of the series. Andrei Vasilevskiy posted 31 saves, Nikita Kucherov had one goal and a couple of assists, while defenseman Victor Hedman added one goal and three dishes. The Lightning went 3-for-7 with the man advantage.
Vasilevskiy went 39-18-5 last regular season. The 27-year-old goalie tallied a 2.49 GAA and .916 save percentage, but Vasilevskiy recorded only a couple of shutouts. The Lightning ranked sixth in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.78).
- 1-4 in the last five games played in May
- 6-2 in the last eight games overall
- 6-1 in the last seven games at home
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
The first-round series between the Maple Leafs and Lightning is a joy to watch, but betting on their encounters is a tough job. Just keep in mind their final two meetings of the 2021-22 regular season. Toronto trounced Tampa Bay 6-2 on April 4, while the Lightning routed the Maple Leafs 8-1 on April 21.
I think the Lightning are a better defensive team than the Maple Leafs, so I lean toward the hosts in Game 3. Toronto was yielding 3.07 goals per contest in the regular season (19th in the NHL), but the Maple Leafs also owned the second-highest scoring offense in the league (3.80).
Pick: Take Tampa Bay Lightning at -115
Four of the last five encounters between the Maple Leafs and Lightning have produced eight or more goals in the total. I highly doubt chances to see another shutout in this playoff series, so give me the over on the totals despite a 6.5-goal line.
I’ve mentioned how good Toronto’s offense has been thus far. The Maple Leafs had the best power-play percentage in the NHL (27.3%). On the other side, the Lightning were tallying 3.48 goals per contest (tied-7th in the NHL) while posting the eighth-best power-play percentage (23.9).
Pick: Go over 6.5 goals at +100