A sizzling start has the Toronto Maple Leafs as one of the Stanley Cup co-favourites on Sports Interaction – and they’ll look to live up to the hype Saturday night as they take on the provincial rival Ottawa Senators. Toronto has six wins in seven games to open the season and has humbled opposing goaltenders along the way, averaging nearly four goals per game. Ottawa is coming off its second straight loss, a 5-4 overtime heartbreaker to the New Jersey Devils.
Maple Leafs vs. Senators
Moneyline: Senators -105 Date: Saturday, September 21, 7 p.m. ET Location: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ont.
NHL Odds and Betting Analysis
In a matchup between the league’s hottest offense and one of the NHL’s best goal-prevention units, it appears that scoring wins out. Toronto comes in as an ever-so-slight -115 favourite after cruising to a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings last time out. Saturday nights have been kind to both teams dating back to last season, with the Maple Leafs having won their previous five games on Saturday and Ottawa prevailing in six of its past seven games on the day.
Even with the Senators ranking third overall in goals against per game, bettors shouldn’t expect to see a Toronto game with a total below six for at least the foreseeable future. The Maple Leafs have played to the over in six of seven contests, with six of those games carrying a total of six or higher. This will mark the Senators’ first total of six or higher on the season; they have played four overs and three unders in seven games, each with a total of 5.5.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs’ power play has come down to Earth somewhat, scoring just one goal in the past three games – but it’s still the top unit in the league, operating at a 30-percent clip. And in an early-season development that personifies the 2017-18 Maple Leafs, seven different players have a power-play marker through the first seven games. Toronto has gone over in all five games in which star centre Auston Matthews has scored.
Welcome back, Erik Karlsson. The world-caliber defenceman was held scoreless in his return from offseason foot surgery but looked like his old self in his second game back, dishing out three assists in Ottawa’s OT loss to New Jersey. Ottawa will look to contain Toronto’s elite power play with a penalty-killing unit that has allowed just one man-advantage goal in 21 opponent opportunities – the second-best rate in the league.
Maple Leafs vs. Senators Prediction
Maple Leafs 4, Senators 3