The Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance to do something tonight that they haven’t done in 18 years — win a playoff series.

The only thing standing in their way? Only the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are an incredible 16-0 SU following a playoff loss over the last three seasons.

Entering tonight’s game as slight NHL betting underdogs, do we see the Leafs winning their first series-clinching game in nine attempts… or will the Bolts regroup after blowing a 2-0 lead in Game 5 and force a deciding Game 7?

Get our thoughts in our free NHL picks and predictions for the Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Game 6.

Maple Leafs vs Lightning odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Lightning opened as -120 home favorites and have moved to as short as -130, with a total of 6.5, as of 10 a.m. ET. Tampa closed as -120 home favorites and -130 home favorites in Games 3 and 4.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until puck drop and be sure to check out the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Maple Leafs vs Lightning predictions

Predictions made on 5/12/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

Best NHL bonuses

If you’re signing up for a new sportsbook for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) New users can bet $20 and get $200 in free bets with Caesars! Sign Up Now

B) New users can get two risk-free bets up to $2,000 at PointsBet! Claim Now

*Eligible USA locations only

Maple Leafs vs Lightning game info

Location: Amalie Arena, Toronto, ON
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. ET

Maple Leafs vs Lightning series odds (Toronto leads 3-2)

Maple Leafs: -360
Lightning: +280

Maple Leafs vs Lightning betting preview

Key injuries

Maple Leafs: Rasmus Sandin D (Questionable), Petr Mrazek G (Out).
Lightning: None.
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Maple Leafs vs Lightning head-to-head record the season (including playoffs)

Maple Leafs: 5-4-0, 32 goals for. 
Lightning: 4-4-1, 33 goals for.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 9-1-1 in the Maple Leafs’ last 11 games as a road underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Maple Leafs vs. Lightning.

Maple Leafs vs Lightning picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Leafs needed a Jason Spezza Pacino-style speech to motivate them in Game 5, after coming out extremely flat and looking surprisingly unmotivated in the first period of a pivotal game. Toronto headed into the first intermission Tuesday night down 2-0 and was outshot 14-4 — but the Leafs chipped away and finished with the series’ first come-from-behind win.

However, consistency has not been their thing in this series.

After a Game 1 win, the Leafs decided to live in the penalty box and watched the Lightning go 3-for-7 with the man advantage in a 5-3 Game 2 loss. Following a victory in Game 3, Toronto forgot the next game started, falling behind 3-0 in the first eight minutes of Game 4 en route to a 7-3 humbling. The Leafs are 1-8 SU with a series lead in the Matthews era, and have held a series lead in five of their last eight playoff games overall — losing each of them.

Starting games has also been an issue for Sheldon Keefe’s group in this series. They have been outscored 6-2 in the first period in the series, including 5-0 over the last two games. It was a huge surprise to see the Leafs’ push back in Game 5 after giving up the first two goals because we’ve seen this team wilt when things have not gone its way.

Beating the Bolts two games in a row has not been done over the last three playoffs. Tampa has played 53 postseason games over the last three seasons and is an incredible 16-0 SU following a loss. I’ll admit I thought this was just a useless trend, but seeing Tampa coming off its two losses in this series (both wins), it’s safe to say that this veteran group, led by arguably the best coach in hockey in John Cooper, knows how to step up to the proverbial plate after taking a defeat. 

When the Leafs want to play their best, they have convincingly been the better team, but their play has been spotty throughout the playoffs and if the Leafs come out flat again for the third straight game, they could be taking a plane back to Toronto also facing elimination. 

The Leafs are 0-8 SU in their last eight series-clinching games and there’s a reason the fanbase doesn’t want to see a Game 7. 

The Tampa power play is 6-for-23 over the last four games and has been the difference in the Lightning’s wins. Toronto has not made the adjustments to the minor-penalty increase and is second in the playoffs with 30 minors taken. The Lightning power play was 14-for-29 heading into the playoffs, has been getting a ton of opportunities, and looks like the better unit of the two.

Victor Hedman has been an issue for the Buds as the point man has been dominating on the power play and has four of his team-leading seven points with the man advantage. 

To many a Toronto fan’s worry, this series has a great chance to see Game 7, and the Bolts at -125 is five points longer than the line closed in Game 4. 

PredictionLightning moneyline (-125 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

The Over is 4-1 in the series so far with the only Under coming in Toronto’s 5-0 win in the series opener. In total, the games are averaging 7.4 goals per game. A lot of the scoring has also been done with the man advantage, which has been a huge talking point in this series.

The Bolts and Buds faced each other twice in the last month of the regular season and things got quite chippy in the final meeting. The officials have tried to keep things locked up but in doing so have called every ticky-tack penalty it has seemed. In all, the two clubs are averaging over 44 minutes in penalties per game which are the two highest marks of the 16 playoff teams. Nearly a third of the games have been spent with the man advantage, and that favors the Over considerably.

Through five games, both teams are a combined 10-for-52 (19.2%) on the power play and there is room for more scoring, as the Leafs finished the season with the best power play in hockey and the Bolts easily had the best PP down the stretch. It doesn’t look like the refs are going to change their ways and we should see another 10 or so power-play opportunities again in Game 6.

Neither goalie has really impressed either in this series. Andrei Vasilevskiy has not looked like the former Conn Smythe winner and has allowed at least three goals in all five games with a 3.65 GAA and a .880 SV%. Jack Campbell held his team afloat in Game 5 but also owns a 3.41 GAA and a .895 SV% in the series. He also lost all three games last year in the playoffs in series-clinching games. 

The Leafs are a threat to score shorthanded, as they led the league in 4-on-5 goals on the season and have two already in the series. Both sides can score at even strength, as each team finished in the Top 10 in 5-on-5 goals scored, while the Leafs have not been the greatest even-strength defensive team and came into the playoffs with the worst GAA at even strength of all 16 playoff teams.

We’re expecting more goals again tonight and wouldn’t be surprised if we saw three power-play goals scored. Neither goalie has impressed and the winning team has scored at least five goals in each of the series’ five games. 

PredictionOver 6.5 (-115 at bet365)

Best bet

Morgan Rielly showed his offensive touch in Game 5 with the massive game-tying goal. He has a point in three straight and has scored in four of the series’ five games. He might be bumped from the PP1 unit but getting his point total at -110 is still appetizing.

Mark Giordano took plenty of PP1 time in Game 5 but Rielly could easily take that role back tonight, which would make this point price a great deal. There were 11 total power plays last game, while the Leafs have scored with the man advantage in three straight and went 2-for-8 on the power play in Tampa in Games 3 and 4. 

Hedman is -220 to get a point, but Rielly is coming off a career season where he had 68 points in 82 games. He gets a ton of touches on the power play and if he is bumped to PP2, he’ll be the captain of that unit. 

PickRielly Over 0.5 points (-110)

NHL Hockey Playoffs
Free Shipping CBD Relief Authority
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Sign-up for breaking news! Be the first to hear about Hockey News.
Click Me
Share via
Copy link