The series heads to Florida as the Toronto Maple Leafs meet the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 3 of the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’re in Tampa, sharing our NHL odds series, making a Maple Leafs-Lightning Game 3 prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.
The Maple Leafs bounced back from their Game 1 thrashing by destroying the Lightning 7-2 in Game 2. Now, they head back to Tampa for the second season in a row with the series tied 1-1.
Mitchell Marner started the scoring 47 seconds in when he fired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that snuck past goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. Later, John Tavares won the draw and fed it to Morgan Rielly, who gave it back to him, and he squared a shot into the net for a 2-0 lead. William Nylander added to the fun as he caught a pass from Rielly on an extra-man attack and blasted it past Vasilevskiy for a 3-0 lead. Then, the Lightning got on the board in the second period when Steven Stamkos fed Ian Cole, who backhanded a shot past goalie Ilya Samsonov to make it 3-1.
But the Leafs would not relent, as Tavares picked up a loose puck off a rebound and flung it into the net for a 4-1 lead. Then, the Leafs added three more goals to officially put this one out of reach. Samsonov finished with 20 saves. Conversely, Vasilevskiy struggled. Both teams have exchanged blowout wins in this series. Who will take Game 3?
Here are the Maple Leafs-Lightning Game 3 NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Playoffs Odds: Maple Leafs-Lightning Game 3 Odds
Toronto Maple Leafs: -1.5 (+202)
Tampa Bay Lightning: +1.5 (-250)
Over: 6.5 (-106)
Under: 6.5 (-114)
How To Watch Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Game 3
TV: TBS, Sportsnet, CBC, TVAS
Time: 7 PM ET/4 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Maple Leafs Could Cover The Spread
The Leafs bounced back in a significant way after struggling in Game 1. Now, they have all the momentum after their offense exploded in Game 2 and wish to carry that into Game 3.
Tavares has three goals and one assist in this series. Meanwhile, Marner has two goals and four assists. Nylander has two goals and one assist. Likewise, Auston Matthews has provided four assists. Rielly has four assists, all coming in Game 2. Significantly, these players helped the Leafs go 2 for 6 on the powerplay in Game 2. The Leafs won 50 percent of their draws and took 37 shots.
Samsonov also bounced back in Game 2, and is now 1-1 with a goals-against average of 4.82 with a save percentage of .844. Moreover, he played efficiently behind a defense that killed off all three Lightning powerplay chances. The Maple Leafs also held the Lightning to 22 shots. Moreover, they blocked 17 shots. The Maple Leafs only had 23 penalty minutes and played a very disciplined style.
The Maple Leafs will cover the spread if they can continue the scoring surge. Then, they must remain disciplined and not take penalties.
Why The Lightning Could Cover The Spread
The Lightning destroyed the Maple Leafs in Game 1. Then, Game 2 came, and they could not generate any offense while struggling massively on defense, allowing the Leafs to score too many goals.
Nikita Kucherov has one goal and two assists. However, he was ineffective in Game 2. Stamkos has one assist. Conversely, he must do more to carry the Lightning. Alex Killorn has one assist. Likewise, he must improve. Victor Hedman did not play in Game 2. Therefore, Mikhail Sergachev had to shoulder more of the load. But he struggled and has an assist with a plus/minus rating of -3 over two games. Ultimately, the Lightning took only 22 shots. Tampa Bay also went 0 for 3 on the powerplay. Likewise, they did not get many chances on offense because they spent so much time on the penalty kill.
Vasilevskiy struggled mightily, allowing seven goals. Now, he is 1-1 with a goals-against average of 5.00 with a save percentage of .848. Vasilevskiy struggled behind a defense that allowed two powerplay goals and 37 shots. Ultimately, the Lightning blocked 16 shots, but it was not enough to hold off a powerful Toronto attack.
The Lightning will cover the spread if they can avoid the penalty box. Then, they must build an early lead.
Final Maple Leafs-Lightning Game 3 Prediction & Pick
The Leafs won Game 3 a year ago after taking Game 2. Therefore, expect the trend to continue. The Leafs will go into Tampa and win Game 3 to continue to build momentum and take a 2-1 series lead.
Final Maple Leafs-Lightning Game 3 Prediction & Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs: -1.5 (+202)
The post NHL Playoffs Odds: Maple Leafs vs. Lightning Game 3 prediction, pick, how to watch – 4/22/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.