The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking for their fifth-straight win tonight as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena with both clubs sitting with matching 93-point records and tied for the second spot in the Atlantic Division.
Can Jack Campbell put in another solid performance in net in his second game in nearly a month off? Can the big boys in Tampa continue to carry this offense to its fifth win in six games? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Maple Leafs vs. Lightning.
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Maple Leafs vs Lightning odds
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The Leafs opened as +110 road favorites yesterday afternoon and have stayed still at that price since. The total sits at 6.5. This is the third meeting this season meeting with the teams splitting the pair of games in Toronto. The Leafs closed at -140 in the last meeting back in December with a total of 5.5.
Maple Leafs vs Lightning predictions
Predictions made on 4/04/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis./em>
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Maple Leafs vs Lightning game info
• Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
• Date: Monday, April 4, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: Sportsnet, Bally Sports Sun
Maple Leafs vs Lightning betting preview
Maple Leafs: William Nylander F (Questionable), Jake Muzzin D (Out), Ondrej Kase F (Out), Petr Mrazek G (Out), Rasmus Sandin F (Out).
Lightning: Ryan McDonagh D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Maple Leafs vs Lightning head-to-head record since 2017-18
Maple Leafs: 4-6 SU, 25 goals for.
Lightning: 6-4 SU, 36 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Lightning are 1-7 SU in their last eight vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600. 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.
The Leafs play their second game of a four-game road trip tonight versus the Lightning with the Panthers on deck for tomorrow and the Stars on Thursday. The Leafs didn’t play their best game against the Flyers on Saturday but finished strong with a 6-3 win.
The Leafs have goalie Jack Campbell back in the lineup and the now-healthy tender will be between the pipes tonight. Campbell was struggling with a near-4.00 GAA over his last 10 starts before hitting the shelf for nearly a month.
The poor play seemed to be more of a mental issue with the American goalie and the time off likely helped. Now with Petr Mrazek out, this is Campbell’s net again and we could possibly see him return to his early-season form that saw him in the Vezina conversation. He’s seen the Bolts twice this season and has a 1-1 SU record with a 2.50 GAA.
Another thing going for the Leafs is their ability to play to their level of competition. They’ve played down to poor opponents with a 4-7 SU mark as -250 favorites or more over their last 11 games but have played good teams well.
Over their last eight games where they’ve closed as a dog or as low as -150, the Buds are 7-1 SU with wins over the Bruins, Panthers, Stars, Capitals, Wild, and Penguins. Sheldon Keefe has done a great job at getting his team to compete against the league’s best and tonight should be no different.
Looking at the home side, the Bolts are 9-8 SU since the beginning of March, ranking 17th in point percentage over that stretch. The offense is scoring just 3.00 goals per game over that span (20th) and John Cooper’s team has become heavily reliant on Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Brayden Point, and Nikita Kucherov, who have a combined 25 of the team’s 51 goals and 69 of the team’s total 138 points over that stretch.
Slowing down the top line of Kucherov-Point-Stamkos is a tough task, but if the Leafs can do it, this Tampa team has struggled to get scoring from their bottom-nine forwards of late.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has played more hockey than any other goalie over the last three seasons and should likely get the start between the pipes for the Bolts who are playing their third game in four nights.
Vasilevskiy has been league average over his last 13 starts with a 7-6 SU record and a 2.64 GAA and a .914 SV%. He’s been a better goalie at home but the Leafs will not be seeing the Conn Smythe version of Vasilevskiy tonight.
Toronto could come into this game without the services of Willaim Nylander who is dealing with an illness. He had been playing more minutes on the third line and although his absence hurts this team offensively, the Lightning’s loss of defenseman Ryan McDonagh might be more substantial.
McDonagh plays the second-most minutes on the team and has been replaced by Cal Foote who has been in and out of the lineup this season. The two injuries are a wash for us in regards to pricing.
This +110 ML price is implying that these two teams would be -110 on the ML on a neutral site which is pretty bang on. The Leafs have surprised many with their play against top-flight teams and if Keefe has them focused on tonight’s game with Campbell in net, they have a much better chance at grabbing two points tonight than with rookie goalie Erik Kallgren tomorrow in Florida.
Tampa has been playing close to .500 hockey for the last 35 days and its offense has not been scoring at will, even against poor competition.
Give us the Leafs tonight as they hopefully continue to play good teams well while the Bolts are 1-7 SU in their last eight vs. teams with a winning percentage above .600.
Prediction: Maple Leafs ML (+118 at CoolBet)
The last time these two teams met back in December, the total closed at 5.5 which is a full goal off tonight’s total of 6.5.
The Leafs have been scoring a ton of goals of late, but the first period versus Philadelphia resulted in zero goals. Nylander’s absence hurts a power play that has seven goals over its last five games while the Lightning are seeing just 5.75 total goals per game over their last 17.
The Tampa offense has scored at least four goals in four straight games which is likely why we’re seeing this total at 6.5, but before that four-game stretch, the Bolts had gone eight straight games without scoring four goals.
Burning the Canadiens and Blackhawks for nine total goals over their last two games isn’t something to brag about while Cooper might want to tighten things up even more tonight after the Lightning blew a 3-1 lead to the Canadiens on Saturday in a 5-4 shootout loss.
At home this season, the Lightning are averaging just 3.17 goals per game which ranks them in the bottom half of the league. Their average home games see a total of 5.63 total goals which is the fourth-lowest mark in hockey.
The possible loss of Nylander hurts the Leafs even more on the road than at home. Cooper will be able to match up against the Auston Matthews line with the last change and the Marner-Matthews-Bunting line could see either a lot of Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, or both.
The second line will consist of Mikheyev-Tavares-Kerfoot which is a line that lacks the offensive creativity that Nylander brings. The third line of Abruzzese-Kampf-Engvall doesn’t push the needle for us either in regards to the Over.
This game could possibly be a first-round matchup and we are liking this to be a close and tight battle. Both teams have been heavily reliant on the power play and top line for production. The Bolts boast an impressive defensive group (even with McDonagh out) and the Leafs are starting to find their edge defensively as well with Mike Giordano and Ilya Lyubushkin finding their defensive games with their new clubs.
With the last game closing at 6.5, this is an Under for us but likely just a lean.
Prediction: Under 6.5 (-109 at CoolBet)
If the books are going to give us an Auston Matthews anytime goal price of -104, we’re not even thinking twice about it. Matthews has scored in five straight games and 14 of his last 17. He leads the league in goals by one and has 26 tallies over his last 30 games. He gets them at even strength, on the power play, and into the empty net. He can’t be slowed down right now and is looking to break the Leafs’ all-time goal record of 55.
The Lightning haven’t been their stingy selves of late and gave up four goals to the Canadiens on Saturday. Vasilevskiy has seen a ton of action over the last 1,000 days and owns a very average 2.64 GAA over his last 13 starts.
If Nylander sits, Matthews could see a ton of ice.
Pick: Matthews anytime goal (-104)