Chalk up another profitable night with my free NHL picks and we came an overtime goal away from a massive, massive night.
The first winner of the night came between the Panthers and Blues where I had Florida as +140 road underdogs.
The Blues got the scoring started, but the Panthers replied with a power play goal and took the lead in the third period on a Brett Connolly goal. Fortunately for the Panthers, that was all the scoring that took place in this one and the Panthers left with a 2-1 road upset victory and netted us a 1.40-unit profit in the process.
Next up was the Jets and Coyotes where I had the Jets as -123 moneyline favorites on home ice.
Like with my pick above, the wrong team opened the scoring and Arizona actually took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. That said, it was all Jets from there on out as they would score four unanswered goals while Connor Hellebuyck stayed hot with 36 saves on 38 shots in a 4-2 Jets win, netted us another unit in profit.
Finally, I had the Oilers as -119 home favorites over the Golden Knights on home ice.
The Oilers led 1-0 and 2-1 in this one, but were actually getting dominated and vastly outshot, 23-3 at one point midway through the second. That finally caught up to them as Vegas tied it in the third, sending the game to OT where Shea Theodore stayed red-hot with a blast past Mikko Koskinen to give Vegas a crucial extra point at the top of the Pacific Division standings.
They deserved to win that one for sure.
Nonetheless, I will take the 1.21-unit profit on the night and move onto this eight-game Tuesday night schedule!
Season Record: 112-94-1
Now let’s dive into this free NHL pick featuring the Lightning vs. Maple Leafs from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto!
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Betting Odds
- Lightning (-104)
- Maple Leafs (-106)
- Lightning -1.5 (+210)
- Maple Leafs +1.5 (-250)
- Over 6.5 (-109)
- Under 6.5 (-101)
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s check in with each of these clubs before we get into my final pick!
The Lightning did us a favor with a road upset of the Boston Bruins on Sunday at +120, but followed that up with a 5-4 shootout loss to the league-worst Red Wings in Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been a little bit of a bumpy ride for the Bolts of late as they have now lost six of their last nine games and have lost all hope of catching the Bruins for top spot in the Atlantic, and the NHL.
They are still well ahead of these Maple Leafs (and Panthers) for second place in the division, however, and are just about locked into that position as a result.
Therefore, we have a potential first-round playoff matchup on our hands, if the Leafs can hold off the Panthers, for the second time in two weeks after the Maple Leads dealt the Lightning a 4-3 loss in Tampa Bay on February 25th.
The Lightning, as we know, are a high-octane offense and while their home offense is significantly more potent than their road offense, they have indeed scored nine times over their last two road games.
They sit first with 3.85 goals per game at home, but also seventh with 3.17 goals per game on the road, but interestingly Tampa Bay’s power play has scuffled to a 16.7% clip away from home this season, good for a share of 21st in the league.
That power play is hot, however, in going 5 for 13 (38.5%) over their last five.
Defensively, the Bolts check in at eighth with 2.83 goals against per game on the road while their road penalty kill sits 13th with a solid 80.5% mark.
The Lightning are also a quality team when it comes to the possession game at even strength.
At 5v5 on the road, the Lightning rank 12th with a 49.67% Corsi For%, fourth with a 51.20% Scoring Chances For% and also fourth with a 51.31% High-Danger Chances For%.
After backup Curtis McElhinney took the loss in Detroit on Sunday, the Bolts will go back to No.1 netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy for this one tonight.
Vasilevskiy’s season has been a bumpy ride. He will enter this one sporting a 2.57 GAA and .917 Sv% on the season in 51 starts and he owns a 2.60 GAA and .918 Sv% on the road.
He also owns a 1.68 GAA and .952 Sv% in the month of March across three outings, but was also torched in his final four games of February, including allowing four goals to these Maple Leafs a couple weeks back.
Nonetheless, when this guy is hot, he’s one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.
The collars in Leafs Nation are a little tighter after they managed just one point over their three-game California swing against a trio of bottom-feeding Western Conference clubs.
Add in back-to-back Panthers wins and Toronto sits just a single point ahead of the Florida for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
In other words, the Maple Leafs might wanna start winning some games.
The bounce back from a west-coast swing is a tough one against these Lightning despite the Maple Leafs being off since losing in Anaheim on Friday.
Their offense has suddenly gone ice-cold as they scored just three goals in three games out west.
They’ll return home tonight where they are tied for eighth with 3.39 goals per game at home this season and where their power play sits 10th with a 23.3% clip.
That power has been cold as well, going 0 for 14 over their last five games.
Despite the cold offense, their main struggles have been on the back end as they rank tied for 22nd with 3.09 goals per game at home where their penalty kill ranks 24th with a 78.7% mark on the year.
That penalty kill has been much better of late, however, going 12 for 13 (92.3%) over their last six contests.
The Maple Leafs are a solid home possession team as well.
At 5v5 at home, the Maple Leafs rank ninth with a 52.83% Corsi For%, ninth with a 53.39% Scoring Chances For%, but fall to 16th with a 52.71% High-Danger Chances For%.
Getting the nod in goal for the home side tonight should be Frederik Andersen after Jack Campbell started two of their three games out west.
After struggling for much of February, Andersen has posted back-to-back strong efforts, most recently a 30-save shutout of the Kings despite the Leafs dropping a 1-0 shootout decision in that one. He owns a .965 Sv% over his last two.
He’s had a rocky season on the whole, however, as his 2.89 GAA and .908 Sv% on the season are well below career norms while his work at home hasn’t been pretty to the tune of a 3.11 GAA and .901 Sv% in 27 outings.
Andersen did turn aside 26 of 29 shots in the Leafs’ 4-3 win in Tampa a couple weeks back.
There’s some injury news in this one as well as the Maple Leafs with get No.1 defenseman Morgan Rielly back for the first time since January 12th due to a broken foot while the Lightning will once again be without Victor Hedman after he missed Sunday’s loss in Detroit with a lower-body ailment.
Despite the positive injury news for the Maple Leafs and the negative news for the Lightning who are also without Steven Stamkos for the long-term, I am siding with the road team here.
It’s tough coming back from the west coast to begin with, but this Lightning team will be ready.
A big thing that concerns me from the Leafs’ perspective here is a cold offense running into a red-hot Andrei Vasilevskiy.
While Andersen has been good lately too, Vasilevskiy has stolen games in Toronto before and the Lightning have won three in a row in Toronto by a combined score of 16-6, including a 7-3 thumping of them back on October 10th.
Both teams haven’t played their best hockey of late, and the Leafs did well to pull off the upset in Tampa two weeks ago.
Nonetheless, in what could very well be a close game, I am going to take a superior, yet beat-up Lightning team to win their fourth straight in Toronto tonight.