Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa NHL Odds, Prediction
The Toronto Maple Leafs enter Saturday’s action, winning seven of their last ten games. The Leafs last played on Wednesday night, beating the Nashville Predators 3-2 in the shootout. Goaltender Frederik Anderson was stunning in the Leafs win on Wednesday night, making highlight reel saves to help keep the Maple Leafs in the game.
The Ottawa Senators last game also came against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. The Senators won 4-3 in overtime. After losing six straight games to close out January, the Senators have won four of their five, to move to 11 points out of the final playoff spot in the East.
This game is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Senators are 2-1-0 in the first three meetings and overall have an 8-2 edge over the Maple Leafs in their last ten meetings.
Despite winning four of their last five games, this season has been disastrous for the Ottawa Senators. After making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Senators are in freefall this year. It will be interesting to see what they do before the trade deadline.
The Maple Leafs sit five points behind the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic Division. The two franchises are on a crash course to meet in the playoffs. The Bruins do have four games in hand on the Maple Leafs and could challenge the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top seed in the Conference if the Lightning slip down the stretch.
The Leafs enter the game has a heavy favourite, despite their struggles against the Senators over the last two and a half seasons. The Senators are one of the worst road teams in the league. The Senators average a paltry 2.12 goals on the road (ranking last in the NHL). Additionally, the Senators seven road wins tie them with the Arizona Coyotes for fewest in the NHL.
The Leafs have only played four games at home against the Atlantic Division, going 2-2-0 in those four games. One of their two losses came against the Senators, 4-3 back in the middle of January. The Leafs were struggling a bit in January, but have since righted the ship and are back to being one of the top teams in the East Conference.
Frederik Andersen is likely to start for the Maple Leafs, while the Senators will probably counter him with Craig Anderson. Frederik Andersen has been hot lately, posting a save percentage of .944 or better in three of his last five games. He has struggled in his previous two starts against the Senators, going 1-1-0, but giving up seven goals on just 50 shots (for a save percentage of just .860 or .062 points lower than his season average).
Craig Anderson has picked up three straight wins, after losing four straight. However, Craig Anderson did allow three goals in each of the wins and now has given up at least three goals in 12 of his last 15 games. After an inspirational performance last season, Anderson is one of the worst starting goaltenders in the league this season. His GAA is 3.14 rank 42nd in the National Hockey League amongst qualifying goaltenders.
While the Ottawa Senators have shown some signs of life recently, they only have two wins in their last 15 road contests. Take the Toronto Maple Leafs to win on Saturday night and split the season series against the Ottawa Senators.
Goal Total Prediction
Despite Ottawa’s goal-scoring woes on the road, this game expects to see a good amount of goals. Both teams average between 33 and 34 shots per game, which bodes well for the over. While, Frederik Andersen is playing excellent, moving into the Vezina Trophy conversation, he allows an average of 3.09 goals per game against the Senators. The Senators are just one of six teams in the NHL, Andersen has a GAA of 3.00 or higher against.
On the other, Craig Anderson’s season-long struggles are difficult to overlook. Anderson is actually better on the road this season than at home. Anderson’s GAA outside of Ottawa is 2.91, compared to 3.33 at home. Still, 2.91 is not great and a far cry from his 2.38 GAA on the road last season.
The smart money is on the over. After a bit of an offensive loll in the dog days of January, the Leafs offence is looking much better since the All-Star break. Also, six of the last seven games between the Leafs and Senators have gone over.
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