The New York Rangers have struggled to secure points at Madison Square Garden this year – and facing a red-hot road team certainly won’t help things as they entertain the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers have the second-fewest home victories of any team in the Metropolitan Division, while the Maple Leafs have won six of their last nine away from Toronto.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs New York Rangers
  • Date/Time: December 20, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Madison Square Garden
  • TV Coverage: NHLN, SNO, MSG 2
  • Opening Odds: Toronto -150  / New York +136 | O/U 6.5
  • Leafs vs Rangers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Toronto opened this one at -150, but the line shot up as high as -170 at some books. The total has held steady at 6.5 with -105 being offered on both the UNDER 6.5 and OVER 6.5 plays.

Toronto News & Notes

Getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 52 years will require an elite effort on both ends of the ice – and the Maple Leafs are getting that right now, having won four of five with each of those victories coming by multiple goals. And their recent success has coincided with another hot streak from team scoring leader Auston Matthews, who has five goals in five games.

But while everything is working for the Leafs at the moment, they still have yet to figure out their backup goaltender situation – and with Frederik Andersen still near the top of the leaderboard with 28 starts to date, Toronto had better figure it out soon. Backups Michael Hutchinson and Kasimir Kaskisuo have combined to go 0-6-1 with a 4.75 goals-against average and a .873 save percentage.

New York News & Notes

After going 2-1-1 on a difficult four-game road trip, optimism was high in Rangers land – but that went away in a hurry after the hosts put forth a clunker in a 5-2 loss to Nashville in their return to MSG. That drops New York to a mediocre 8-7-2 at home on the season, while the Rangers are one of only eight NHL teams without a positive goal margin in their own building (they’re at zero).

With the Rangers getting outshot by roughly 3 1/2 attempts on goal per game at MSG, they’ll need to make their shots count against a surging Maple Leafs team. And they have an ace in the hole in that regard, with standout forward Artemi Panarin converting 20.3 percent of his attempts into goals – the second-highest rate of any player who has scored 15 or more times.

Betting Pick: Toronto -1.5

The Maple Leafs have the superior firepower and have shown enough on the defensive end to earn our trust that they’re en route to yet another multi-goal triumph.

Shark Bites
  • Toronto is 6-3 SU in its previous 9 road games.
  • New York is 11-6 ATS in 17 home games this season.
  • The UNDER is 9-3 in New York’s last 12 games.
TOR is 6-3 SU in its previous 9 road games.away NYR is 11-6 ATS in 17 home games this season.home The UNDER is 9-3 in NYR’s last 12 games.home
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