Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in their second clash in the NHL playoffs. The home side is full of confidence after winning Game 1 and searches for another success. The visitors need to improve a lot in the upcoming game to continue their pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
Toronto has been quite impressive in the series opener, and the hosts look forward to picking up where they left off. They want to keep the home-ice advantage and move the series to Tampa having a solid edge. On the other hand, the defending champions didn’t enjoy the best start in the post-season. Nevertheless, they will try to bounce back and stun the rivals on the road.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Will they continue in the same fashion?
The Maple Leafs had a powerful start to the playoffs, beating the defending champions 5-0 on the home ice. They managed to celebrate for the fourth time in a row, and the hosts are pretty confident at the moment. It will also be their fourth straight game in front of the home crowd, and Toronto will search for another success. If they secure another win, the Maple Leafs will go to Tampa with a 2-0 advantage and be halfway to eliminating the defending NHL champions.
Auston Matthews picked up where he left off and produced three points in the opening match of the series. The most productive Maple Leafs player led his team to the victory by scoring a brace and logging an assist. Mitchell Marner has also contributed a lot in the previous encounter, logging a pair of assists and finding the back of the net once. Morgan Rielly and Ondrej Kase also had a couple of assists each. On the other hand, Jack Campbell kept his net intact and saved all 24 shots in Game 1.
Expected Line-Up: Jack Campbell, Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie, William Nylander, John Tavares, Auston Matthews
with best odds
Tampa Bay Lightning – Can they equalize the result in the series?
The Lightning go to Game 2 with an imperative of improving their game since they must have been embarrassed by their latest display. It was a terrible start to kick off the playoffs series where they defend the Stanley Cup trophy. Tampa Bay had eight shots less than their rivals but also was quite wasteful in the final third. Eventually, they failed to find their way to the back of the opponent’s net. The Lightning were down 4-0 already after two periods, and it was clear that they would suffer a defeat in Game 1.
Tampa Bay’s stats charts are quite empty after the first game of the series. Steven Stamkos remains the team’s most productive player, with a total of 106 points from the regular season, including a team-high 42 goals. However, he needs to be more clinical in the playoffs as well. Victor Hedman spent 22 minutes on the ice in the previous encounter but failed to provide any assistance to his teammates in the final third. As a reminder, he tops the Lightning’s assists charts with 65. Tampa Bay had 51 penalty minutes in Game 1, and Jan Rutta and Corey Perry combined for 33.
Expected Line-Up: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Jan Rutta, Victor Hedman, Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos
Expert Pick #1 – Maple Leafs to Win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @-130
The home side should take advantage of a better momentum to snatch a 2-0 lead in this series. I believe they are capable of doing that, and I’ll back Toronto to book another victory. They should continue their winning streak, and I’ll take this one as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6.5 @+105
Although their first encounter stayed under the margin, I expect a better performance from the defending champions. They should be more productive, and this game could go over a 6.5 margin. It is a riskier bet, but I’ll take it as the plus money odds.
Expert Pick #3 – Lightning Over 3 @-105
Consequently, Tampa Bay should improve its game after being outplayed in the latest encounter. They were pretty efficient in the regular season, and the Lightning should score at least three goals in this matchup. It’s going to be my third pick for this exciting game.