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Leafs, Lightning Ready to Let It Rip

John Tavares NHL Hockey Betting Preview Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs

It might not be time to panic yet for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but their margin for error is getting a bit slim for their liking as they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night. Toronto has dropped three straight games and leads Florida by only one point in the race for third in the Atlantic – and with the division not guaranteed a wild-card spot, things are getting dire.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lightning opened between -115 and -120, and have settled in at -115 at most places. The O6.5 is set at -115, with the U6.5 coming in at -105.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

Just when the Lightning look like they might be ready to challenge the Boston Bruins for top spot in the NHL, they lay an egg. Tampa Bay is coming off a dreadful 5-4 loss to a Detroit Red Wings team that will almost certainly finish dead last in the NHL. That leaves the Lightning six points back of the Bruins with both teams having 13 games left to play entering the new week.

But trips to Toronto have been rather beneficial to the Lightning in recent years. Not only has Tampa Bay won six of its previous seven visits to Scotiabank Arena, all six of those victories have come by multiple goals (including three by 4+ tallies.) And another trend bodes well for the Lightning in this one: the road team has prevailed in each of the last five meetings.

Toronto News & Notes

The Maple Leafs couldn’t get back to the Ontario capital soon enough after getting silenced on their three-game California road trip. Toronto failed to earn a single point while scoring just three goals in the three defeats – and while the Leafs are certainly happy to be back in friendly confines, they’re still just 17-9-7 at home and will play eight of their final 13 games vs teams above .500.

Getting back on solid footing from an offensive standpoint will be critical Tuesday – and that means getting more of a contribution from John Tavares. The superstar center was held without a point on the trip to the West Coast and has just three goals over his last 13 games; his 26 goals on the season are well off the 47 he netted in his first season as a Maple Leaf.

Betting Pick: OVER

It’s hard to say which version of the Maple Leafs will show up Tuesday – but regardless, this game should feature plenty of quality scoring chances as both sides play for playoff seeding.

Shark Bites
  • Tampa Bay is 14-6 SU in its past 20 games.
  • Toronto is 1-6 SU in its last 7 at home vs Tampa Bay.
  • The OVER is 9-2 in Tampa Bay’s past 11 games.