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NHL Playoff Odds, Picks: Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Game 3 Preview & Prediction (April 22)

NHL Playoff Odds, Picks: Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Game 3 Preview & Prediction (April 22) article feature image

Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Game 3 Odds

Maple Leafs Odds-122
Lightning Odds+102
Over/Under6.5 (-104 / -118)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a very strong bounce-back performance in Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs got absolutely embarrassed on home ice in Game 1, and they needed to put up a good fight to even up this series as it heads to Florida.

The Leafs completely dominated Game 2, winning 7-2 and outshooting the Lightning 37-22.

It’s evident that all of the pressure is on the Leafs in this series, considering they haven’t won a playoff round since 2004 and the Lightning have won three straight Eastern Conference Finals.

Game 3 is going to be pivotal, and there is still a chance that the Lightning will be without two of their key blue liners, Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak, who are both questionable for tonight.

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Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to take complete advantage over a beaten up Lightning group in Game 2.

Mitch Marner and John Tavares led the way for this group, Tavares putting together a hat trick while Marner tallied two goals of his own and added an assist.

Toronto is currently leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals per game, averaging 5.00 per contest, and their power play is clicking at 40%.

The biggest question mark for this group is the kind of effort that they are going to get from Ilya Samsonov in between the pipes. Samsonov has to be as close to perfect as possible since his counterpart, Andrei Vasilevskiy, is one of the best goalies in the world.

The positives for the Leafs are that their big-time players have been able to produce early on. Marner is leading the way with six points while Tavares, Auston Matthews and Morgan Reilly each have four points, and William Nylander has three.

Their offense should be able to show up once again. But can this team stop Tampa’s big-game players?

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning looked like a completely different team from Game 1 to Game 2.

They are trying not to make excuses for the bad performance, but it is very clear that this team was missing Victor Hedman on the backend. Hedman has been one of the best defensemen in the NHL for close to a decade. They have played meaningful games without him before, but his absence is certainly felt.

Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t have his best showing, but in his career he has always shown that he can bounce back following a loss. That being said, the Lightning happen to be 0-5 in their last five games following a loss of three goals or more.

The Lightning have had a very uncharacteristic start to the playoffs, allowing the most goals against per game (5.00) in the playoffs right now.

Heading back to home ice is going to be huge for them, but is this team too banged up?

Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Pick

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a much different vibe about them this year, and they are hoping to carry their momentum from Game 2 into Tampa Bay.

Neither goaltender has looked at his best, so it will be interesting to see which guy in the blue paint shows up to play.

To me, this game isn’t about the goaltending, but it is all about the offensive juggernaut of a group that Toronto has.

I feel that this team will continue to buzz and the Leafs will take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs (-115)

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