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Will Miracle Maple Leafs Pull Out Game 5 Victory?

Auston Matthews celebrates after scoring an overtime goal

After pulling off a miracle comeback to stave off elimination on Friday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs are again set as betting favorites for Sunday’s deciding Game 5 against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a berth in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at stake.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Date/Time: August 9, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Scotiabank Arena
  • TV Coverage: NBCSN, SNET
  • Opening Odds: Maple Leafs -145 | O/U 5.5 (Line History)
  • Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs (Matchup Report)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Maple Leafs were listed as betting favorites of between -145 and -160 for each of the first four games of this qualifying round series, and it’s no different for Game 5 as sportsbooks have had them hovering in the -145 to -155 range. The total is steady at 5.5.

Columbus News & Notes

The Blue Jackets had a commanding 3-0 lead late in the third period in Game 4 on Friday night when disaster struck. The Maple Leafs scored three times in the final four minutes of the third period to force overtime, and would eventually win on an Auston Matthews goal midway through the first extra frame. That prevented Columbus backers from cashing in on the +125 underdog line for the contest and forced Sunday’s deciding game.

Blue Jackets netminder Elvis Merzlikins deserved a better fate on Friday, facing 53 Maple Leafs shots in total and giving up the overtime winner while his team was killing off a Nick Foligno tripping penalty. Columbus also played the OT period without defenseman Zach Werenski, who left the game in the third period with a reported upper-body injury. If Werenski can’t play in Game 5 the Blue Jackets will be left with a big hole in their roster.

Toronto News & Notes

The Maple Leafs were staring yet another early postseason exit in the face on Friday night before William Nylander, John Tavares, and Zach Hyman scored their third-period goals to set up Matthews’ heroics in overtime. Matthews also collected a pair of assists in the contest, while Mitch Marner finally showed some signs of life with three assists.

Goaltender Frederik Andersen allowed four goals in Game 3 to put the Maple Leafs on the brink of elimination, and gave up three more in Game 4 but held firm in overtime as his team pulled out the victory. That was after Andersen surrendered just a single goal on 54 shots through the first two games of the series, which the teams split. Going back to the regular season, the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets have split six games at three apiece.

Betting Pick: Maple Leafs -155

After their stunning collapse in Game 4, it will be difficult for the Blue Jackets to pick up the pieces in Sunday’s second attempt at a series-winning victory. Watch for the Maple Leafs’ star forwards to gain confidence from their breakout performance and carry their team to a berth in the next round.

Shark Bites
  • Toronto has been the betting favorite in every game.
  • Columbus has one playoff series win in team history.
  • Matthews now leads the series with six total points.