Perry, Anaheim must reverse road woes
Toronto should be riding high after a 2-1 decision over the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. But will a visit from one of the Pacific Division’s elite bring the Maple Leafs back to earth?
Anaheim hits Air Canada Centre tonight, with a 7:30 p.m. ET puck drop in Ontario. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Mike Babcock’s crew odds of -125 to emerge victorious. The Ducks, on the other hand, represent +105 underdogs.
Thanks to defenseman Jake Gardiner’s tally in overtime, Toronto (12-11-7) dispatched Pittsburgh over the weekend. It was only the Maple Leafs’ second triumph since Dec. 10. Yet they managed to fire a whopping 49 shots on net, with Nikita Zaitsev and Gardiner ultimately solving Marc-Andre Fleury.
With a cast including former Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim’s (16-11-5) capable of producing noteworthy offensive performances, too. We just haven’t witnessed many of those lately. On Saturday, Randy Carlyle’s group dropped a 6-4 verdict to Detroit.
If nothing else, the Leafs continue to use their top-end speed to create quality scoring chances and put foes in uncomfortable positions. In short, it’s a bad matchup for the Ducks’ increasingly erratic netminders. Lean on Auston Matthews & Co. to conclude this homestand on a positive note.
MONDAY NHL FREE PICK: DUCKS/MAPLE LEAFS OVER 5.5 GOALS