The NHL is set up with another great night of action throughout Sunday. Six games will be up on the board throughout April 4. One of these games will be between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames. These two teams have been solid throughout this season, which should lead to a good game. This one will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern on ESPN+.
The Maple Leafs have put up a record of 24-10-3 throughout this season, which has them sitting in first place of the North Division. Toronto is four points ahead of the Oilers and the Jets and will look to further that lead with another win. The Maple Leafs have won back to back games and five of their last six. Toronto will look to keep it up with another win in this one.
Calgary has earned a record of 16-19-3 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in sixth place of the North Division. The Flames are six points out of a playoff spot and need to find a way to get going in this one. Calgary has lost two in a row and six of their last seven. The Flames will look to get back on track with a much needed win in this one.
These two teams are in very opposite positions in the standings, but I think that this could be a good matchup on Sunday night. The Flames are still in the playoff race, but need to turn it around soon. Toronto has been really strong so far this season and will look to keep a good grasp on the top spot in the North with a win in this one.
The Maple Leafs and the Flames have met up three times throughout this season series. Calgary hosted the first two games on January 24 and 26. Morgan Rielly had three assists in the first meeting to help propel Toronto to a 3-2 win. Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews both had a goal and an assist in the second game as the Maple Leafs earned a 4-3 win on the road.
The third and fourth game of the season series shifted to Toronto on February 22 and 24. Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk both had a goal and an assist in the third game. David Rittich finished with 34 saves as the Flames won 3-0. William Nylander scored twice in the fourth matchup to help the Maple Leafs win 2-1 in overtime.
Toronto hosted the fifth and sixth game of the season series on March 19 and 20. Rasmus Andersson had two assists in the fifth game as Calgary was able to earn a 4-3 win on the road. Jason Spezza and Zach Hyman both scored in the sixth game to help lead the Maple Leafs. Jack Campbell stopped all 31 shots as Toronto earned a 2-0 win at home.
These two teams have already met up six times throughout this season. The Maple Leafs have been able to win four of their six games against the Flames. Calgary got swept in their only two games at home and they will look to bounce back with a victory at home in this one. If the Flames can get off to a faster start on Sunday, it could be enough to grab the win.
Toronto has been strong on the power play throughout this season. The Maple Leafs have capitalized on 26 of their 108 power play chances, which is a 24.1 percent success rate. Toronto has struggled a bit on the penalty kill though. The Maple Leafs have killed off 80 of the 104 penalties against them, which is a 77.7 percent penalty kill.
The Flames have been solid on both sides of special teams so far this season. Calgary has scored on 26 of their 129 power play opportunities, which is a 20.2 percent power play. The Flames have given up 25 power play goals on their opponents 125 power play attempts, which is an 80 percent kill rate. Calgary will look to keep up this success in this one.
The Maple Leafs have had the better power play throughout this season, but Calgary has been a bit stronger on the penalty kill. The Flames will look for their power play to step up in this one, which could get going against Toronto’s weaker penalty kill. If Calgary can score one or two on the man advantage, it could be enough to grab the win in this one.
I expect Jack Campbell to get the nod in the crease for the Maple Leafs in this one. Campbell has started in 8 games this season, putting up a perfect 8-0 record. He has posted a .951 save percentage and a GAA of 1.35 in those starts. Campbell’s last start was against the Winnipeg Jets, where he stopped 31 of 32 shots in the winning effort.
Jacob Markstrom will likely get the start between the pipes for Calgary on Sunday night. Markstrom has earned a record of 12-13-2 throughout his 27 starts this season. He has put up a save percentage of .901 and a 2.94 GAA in those games. Markstrom finished with 22 saves on 25 shots in his last start against the Edmonton Oilers, which was not enough for the win.
Toronto has the edge in net with Campbell starting in this one. Campbell has done a great job stepping up when Frederik Andersen has gone down with injury. I think the Flames could knock off Campbell in this one though. Campbell is not going to go undefeated for the rest of the season. If Calgary can get pressure on him early, it could force an off night.
The Maple Leafs have been much better as of late entering Sunday night’s game. I think that the Flames could bounce back with a win in this on though. Calgary was swept at home against Toronto earlier in the season, but I think they will look to come out stronger in this one. If the Flames can put pressure on the Maple Leafs early, I think they can pull off the upset.
BetOnline has Toronto listed as a -153 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Maple Leafs will win this game around 60.5 percent of the time. I think that even though Toronto has been the better team throughout this season, this line is a little big for the Flames at home. I think Calgary can pull off the upset in this one and as home underdogs, they have great value.