NHL Hockey Betting: Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Hockey Betting:  Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Toronto Maple Leafs are 1-2-3 on the season and are coming off only their second regulation loss of the year and their first by more than a single goal. They’ll try again to get their second win of the year as they host the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have gone 3-2-1 to start the season and they’ve been dealing with some injuries to important components of their lineup. Jonathan Huberdeau will be out for several months with an ankle injury and forward Jussi Jokinen is listed as ‘expected to miss’ this matchup. Florida is currently in fifth place in the Atlantic Division while Toronto is in 7th place but the entire division is very tightly packed at this point.

The goaltending matchup is something of a mismatch. Florida’s Roberto Luongo is playing as well as he ever has. He’s got a 3-1-0 record on the year with a 1.99 goals against average and a 0.922 save percentage. He’s the Panthers’ confirmed starter here and Toronto has confirmed that they’ll send Frederick Andersen to defend their net. Andersen has a 1-1-3 record with a 4.29 goals against average and a 0.851 save percentage.

The Leafs’ offense is very dangerous and particularly rookie Austin Matthews who is leading the NHL in points (10) and tied for the lead in goals with Chicago’s Richard Panik (6). Toronto is #5 in the team goals per game ranking (3.50) with Florida in a six way tie for #12 (3.00). Both teams are excellent at putting pressure on the opposing goalie. The Leafs have the best shots on goal per game in the league (35.3) while Florida is #5 (31.8). Florida is better defensively and are tied for #4 in limiting opposing shots (25.5). Toronto is #13 (29.2).

Florida has dominated head to head play in this series which isn’t a surprise since everyone has dominated Toronto in head to head play over the past couple of years. The Panthers have won 6 of the last 8 head to head and 4 straight at the Air Canada Centre. Florida won 3 of 4 last year with the Leafs’ only win coming on 3/29/16 in Miami. Florida not in particularly good form at the moment with only 1 win in their last 4 games and you have to think that Toronto will respond well to an embarrassing 7-3 loss in their previous game.


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