Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: NHL Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Feb 26, 2018

steven stamkos

Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning host a Maple Leafs club that has won nine of its last 10.

Toronto
49-26-5-2
AT
February 26, 2018, 7:30 PM ET
Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay
54-23-3-2
Puckline +1.5 -185
Moneyline +145
Over / Under o +6

55%

Betting Action

45%

Puckline -1.5 +155
Moneyline -160
Over / Under u +6

55%

Betting Action

45%

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning are battling for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. With the teams so close in the standings, it’s a bit surprising to see that the Lightning are such a big favorite in this spot.

Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Betting Analysis

This is a showdown of two of the higher scoring teams in the league, so you might want to consider the over. The Lightning are third in the NHL this month, averaging 3.83 goals per game while Toronto is sixth with 3.67. Six of the last eight Leafs games have seen seven goals or more and 11 of the Lightning’s last 12 games have seen at least six goals.

Home-ice advantage figures to be a big factor in this spot as the Lightning are one of the best in the business in front of their home audience. They’ve won nine straight at home and their +0.83 goal differential at home is the best in the NHL. The Leafs are just 17-15 on the road this season.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are 39-20-5 after a 4-3 home victory over Boston on Saturday. Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists, while Nazem Kadri scored a pair and Ron Hainsey added the game-winning goal. Frederik Andersen made 20 saves for the Maple Leafs, who played without Auston Matthews (out at least a week with a shoulder injury). The Maple Leafs did boost their forwards unit by acquiring veteran Tomas Plekanec on Sunday.

This is a big game for the Maple Leafs as they’ve struggled against elite competition of late. The win over Boston was big but that was at home. Can they go on the road and beat a team like Tampa Bay? This is a team who is merely 5-5 in their last 10 road games.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning are 42-17-3 after a 4-3 shootout win in Montreal on Saturday. They were led by Brayden Point, who scored in regulation and in the shootout. Ryan Callahan and Nikita Kucherov also scored, while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 29 shots for the Lightning. While it was another win for Tampa Bay, it was also notable for another incident. Kucherov was hit by Montreal’s Karl Alzner and Lightning captain Steven Stamkos dropped the gloves to defend his teammate. Kucherov leads the NHL with 33 goals and 49 assists this season, while Stamkos has 24 goals and 46 assists for 70 points. The Lightning don’t want to see either of those guys in the midst of physical altercations. However, Stamkos’ willingness to fight for his teammate showed that the Lightning have a lot of grit and that is something that they’re going to need if they want to win the Stanley Cup.

The key edge for them should be between the pipes. Toronto has won four in a row but goaltender Frederik Andersen has allowed three goals or more in seven of his last eight starts. That bodes well for the Lightning, who are averaging 3.83 goals per game this month.

Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Prediction

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