Penguins vs Maple Leafs Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction

Penguins vs Maple Leafs Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction article feature image

(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) Pictured: Sidney Crosby.

Penguins vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Monday, April 8
7 p.m. ET
Penguins Odds+125
Maple Leafs Odds-150
Over / Under
-105o / -115u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, April 8 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

There's a little extra spice in this matchup now, after former Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas landed in Pittsburgh as the team's superboss last summer.

It's been a challenging debut campaign for Dubas, but Sidney Crosby has put the Penguins on his back the last two weeks. With the help of some razor-sharp netminding from Alex Nedeljkovic, Pittsburgh is now right back in the playoff hunt. But there's still work to be done, so every game is crucial.

The Maple Leafs are a little more comfortable in their spot in the standings and have most aspects of their game humming along nicely as they prepare for the postseason, where they'll really be judged for their year.

Let's dive into our Penguins vs. Maple Leafs preview and pick to see why you should look for the hungry Penguins to prevail and grab the season-series win in Toronto on Monday.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Basically left for dead after impending UFA Jake Guentzel was dealt away at the trade deadline, the Penguins are now right back in the playoff race. The turning point came March 24, when they fell nine points back after watching a 4-0 lead against the Colorado Avalanche turn into a 5-4 overtime loss.

In the ensuing two weeks, the Penguins have gone 6-0-1 and taken down some good teams like the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning along the way.

Nedeljkovic has claimed the net, posting a 2.26 goals-against average and .926 save percentage over the last seven games to boost his record to 16-6-6 for the year.

The penalty kill has been cooking at a solid 82.6%, and while the power play is still a work in progress at 15.8%, Pittsburgh's scoring rate over the last seven games has been an impressive 4.29 goals per game. That's led by 12 points from Crosby, nine each from Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust, and seven from newcomer Michael Bunting, who was part of the return in the Guentzel deal.

The Penguins are dealing with some injuries. Forwards Noel Acciari, Jansen Harkins and Matt Nieto are all on injured reserve, while defensemen Ryan Graves and John Ludvig are listed as day-to-day with a concussion and an illness, respectively.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Sitting 14 points ahead of the Penguins in the Eastern Conference standings, the Maple Leafs have clinched their playoff spot and have a solid grip on third place in the Atlantic Division. There is a chance they could still move up or down. So while their remaining games don't bear as much significance as Pittsburgh's, they do have something to play for.

These days, all eyes are on Auston Matthews, who's one goal shy of tying Alex Ovechkin's high of 65 goals in a season — the most in the 2000s, and the most among active players.

But even as Matthews has been scoring, Toronto's power play is in a dreadful slump at just 1-for-19 over the last seven games, when the team's record has been 4-3-0.

The Leafs have a couple of holes in their lineup, with defensemen Joel Edmundson and Timothy Liljegren listed as day-to-day and forward Calle Järnkrok on injured reserve with a hand issue.

But they've been steady defensively, giving up just 2.71 goals per game since March 24, and with a penalty kill at over 90%.

In net, Ilya Samsonov has turned his year around following a mid-season reset. Since the trade deadline, Samsonov is 6-1-1, improving his record for the season to 22-6-7.

The expected goals share at 5-on-5 for these two teams is virtually identical over the full season. But the Leafs have been very good since March 25, controlling over 58% of expected goals compared to just over 50% for the Penguins.

Penguins vs. Maple Leafs

Betting Pick & Prediction

The home side has prevailed in the two earlier meetings between these teams this season. Pittsburgh took a 3-2 win at PPG Paints Arena back on Nov. 25, then the Maple Leafs responded with a 7-0 drubbing Dec. 16.

Both teams have tidied up their games considerably in the second half of the year. And with a record of 21-14-3 on home ice so far this season, Toronto is a significant opening favorite on the moneyline at -150.

But Toronto has dropped home-ice decisions over the last month to teams like Tampa Bay, New Jersey and Carolina, so victory is far from assured. At this point, it's tough to bet against Crosby, who appears to be hellbent on singlehandedly willing his group back into the postseason.

With a tidy plus-money payout, look for Dubas to exact his revenge on his former team for the first time in his old barn.

Pick: Penguins Moneyline (+138 at FanDuel | Play down to +120)

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for NHL bettors
The best NHL betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.