Tampa Bay Lightning will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL 2021-22 playoffs on Sunday evening. The home side wants to even the things up before moving the series to Toronto. The visitors search for another road victory that could see them get very close to the conference semi-finals.
Tampa Bay looks forward to bouncing back on the home ice after losing in the previous match. They don’t want to give up on this series easily, and the hosts hope to secure a win here. On the other hand, Toronto is full of confidence after its latest success. The away side eyes the second win on the road, and they want to return home with a 3-1 advantage.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Will they get back into the series?
The Lightning had an excellent chance to take control of this series after winning Game 2 in Toronto, but they missed it. It wasn’t a good enough performance on Friday evening, and they eventually suffered a 5-2 defeat. Tampa Bay didn’t open the game well, and they were 2-0 down after the first period. The hosts managed just to make things interesting at the beginning of the final period when scoring for 2-3, but they conceded two more goals. Tampa Bay had two shots less than Toronto in that match, while they also had four penalty minutes more than their opponents.
Victor Hedman tops the Lightning’s assists charts with three while being the most productive player on the team with four points. Nikita Kucherov has a pair of assists and a goal for a total of three pts, while Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat have chipped in with two points each. Four more Tampa Bay players managed to get their names displayed on the scoresheet in the playoffs. On the other hand, Andrei Vasilevskiy was Lightning’s first-choice goalie, and he concedes 3.72 goals per contest and has a .890 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Jan Rutta, Victor Hedman, Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos
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Toronto Maple Leafs – Can they book another road win?
The Maple Leafs managed to get back the home-ice advantage thanks to a very good display in Game 3. Although they lost in the second match of the series, the visitors celebrated on the road and took the lead again. Toronto controlled the game from the first period when they were already 2-0 ahead. Although they let the Lightning get just one goal behind at the beginning of the final third, Toronto scored twice to seal a victory on Friday evening. The Maple Leafs want to continue in the same fashion and increase its advantage before moving the series back home.
Mitchell Marner has been the most productive player for the Maple Leafs’ offense, with a team-high four assists and two goals for a total of six points. Auston Matthews has also found the back of the net twice while he logged three assists. Ilya Mikheyev, Pierre Engvall, and Morgan Rielly contributed to Toronto’s offense with three points each, while four other players managed to chip in with two points. On the goal, Jack Campbell made three appearances in the post-season, conceding 2.37 goals per match and having a .924 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Jack Campbell, Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie, William Nylander, John Tavares, Auston Matthews
Expert Pick #1 – Tampa Bay Lightning to win @-120
Toronto has a very talented team, but the hosts don’t want to go quietly in this series. Tampa Bay defends the Stanley Cup, and they will look forward to extending this tie. I believe they will celebrate in front of their fans, and I’ll back them as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6.5 @-115
Both teams have been very productive recently, and eight of the last ten Lightning matches went over the margin. The Over cashed in seven of Toronto’s previous ten, and I think these two teams will continue in the same fashion. I’ll take the Over as my second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Lightning to win & Both Teams Over 1.5 @+225
I’m going with a long shot for the third pick, and although it’s a very risky one, the odds are pretty generous. These two teams should find the back of the net at least twice each, and combined with Tampa Bay’s victory, we can get excellent returns.