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Penguins Look To Keep Point Streak Alive vs. Maple Leafs

Kris Letang & Penguins home underdogs against Leafs on Saturday October 23, 2021.

The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Toronto Maple Leafs at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday night in their first meeting of the season. The Penguins (2-0-2) have earned at least one point in every game this season despite missing star players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, while the Maple Leafs (2-2-1) have had a lukewarm start to their campaign.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Date/Time: October 23, 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: PPG Paints Arena
  • TV Coverage: CBC, NHLN, ATTSN-PT
  • Opening Odds: Maple Leafs -135 | O/U 6 (Line History)
  • Maple Leafs vs Penguins Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The visiting Toronto Maple Leafs come into tonight’s contest as the favorite at -135 on the moneyline, while the banged-up Pittsburgh Penguins sit at +110. The total is set at 6 goals with the UNDER going 4-2 in the last six meetings.

Toronto News & Notes

The Maple Leafs have hit an early-season rut, dropping two straight games to the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers.

For a team built on offence, scoring has been an issue so far as Toronto has tallied just 11 goals through five contests. Mitch Marner has struggled in particular, collecting just one assist thus far, while captain John Tavares hasn’t quite found his stride either with a goal and two assists. Reigning Maurice “Rocket” Richard winner Auston Matthews has played two games since returning from offseason wrist surgery and has been held off the score sheet despite firing 11 shots on the net.

Goaltender Peter Mrazek was sidelined with a groin injury on Oct. 14 but will travel with the team on their current road trip.

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Pittsburgh News & Notes

The Penguins have been banged up to start the season as they’re without captain Sidney Crosby (wrist) and Evgeni Malkin (knee). Bryan Rust also went down with a lower-body injury on Oct. 14, dealing another blow to Pittsburgh’s attack. But despite all the injuries, Pittsburgh has managed to earn at least one point in all four games this season while their offence has clicked along at four goals per game (T-6th in the NHL).

37-year-old Jeff Carter (1-3—4) has been a key producer so far through four games, while defenseman Kris Letang (0-4—4) has been a steady force on the blue line, logging over 26 minutes per night. Goaltender Tristan Jarry has been stellar through his three starts, posting a record of 2-0-1 with a .935 save percentage and a 1.62 goals against average.

How Toronto Will Win

The Maple Leafs live and die with their star forwards. Marner and Tavares simply haven’t been good enough to start the season, but the injection of Matthews back into the lineup should help them find more space out on the ice. One could argue that Toronto is due for an offensive outburst, and it could happen in Pittsburgh.

How Pittsburgh Will Win

The Penguins have arguably been outperforming expectations to start the season and that’s largely due to depth scoring and strong goaltending. The Maple Leafs have looked like a fragile group thus far, and with a confident Jarry in net, the Penguins may be able to shut them down and take another win.

Computer Pick: Penguins ML (+130)

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Shark Bites
  • Toronto is 6-4-0 in their last 10 games against Pittsburgh
  • The OVER is 3-1 in Pittsburgh's last four games
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in Toronto's last 5 games