The Carolina Hurricanes start a three-game road trip with a game just north of the border, facing off with the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Hurricanes-Maple Leafs prediction and pick.
Carolina comes in off a win on Tuesday against another Canadian team, beating the Winnipeg Jets by a 5-3 score. That win gives them five wins in their past seven outings. Toronto is playing their fourth-straight game at home but is coming off a loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, where they could not get any offensive production going. In three of the last four losses for Toronto, they have not been able to score over two goals, but they still hold a one-point advantage over Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division race for the three-seed.
Here are the Hurricanes-Maple Leafs NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Hurricanes-Maple Leafs Odds
Carolina Hurricanes: +1.5 (-245)
Toronto Maple Leafs: -1.5 (+198)
Over: 6.5 (+114)
Under: 6.5 (-140)
How To Watch Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs
TV: NHL Network
Stream: NHLPP / ESPN +
Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Hurricanes Could Cover The Spread
Carolina is one of the best teams on the road this season. They have a 20-6-6 record, giving them 46 points on the road, which is third in the NHL. They also have a +54-goal differential on the season. This places them only behind the dominant Boston Bruins in that regard. Star player Andrei Svechnikov is out for the rest of the season. The 22-year-old wing is second on the team with 55 points, and he joins Max Pacioretty as offensive threats lost for the year in Carolina.
Carolina seemed to miss Svechnikov in their first game without him against New Jersey, as they were shut out for the second game in a row, and the fourth time on the season. The Hurricanes did find offense from different places against Winnipeg, with Slavin scoring his sixth goal of the year, Drury his first, Skeji his 13th, and Kotkaniemi with his 13th and 14th of the season. They are going to need to find alternative forms for scoring to keep winning. Their leading goal scorer, Sebastian Aho, is on a cold streak, failing to score a single point in his last six outings. The second leading goal scorer, Martin Necas, has not lit the lamp since March third against Arizona, which was his fourth goal since the start of February.
Beyond finding alternative scoring, Carolina is going to need to get consistent goaltending to keep themselves as a contender in the East. Frederik Andersen is expected to start tonight and has not been consistent. He has given up one goal or less in four of his last eight outings, but in the other four, he has given up three goals. A good game from him should lead to a Carolina victory.
Why The Maple Leafs Could Cover The Spread
Toronto comes in as one of the most dominant home teams on the season, with a 24-7-5 record on the season, which is third in the NHL. They rank 7th in the NHL in goals per game. The Maple Leafs do have a recent outing of seven goals in a game, but also a stretch of scoring under four goals in five of their last six games. The scoring has gone cold overall. They average 3.39 goals per game on the season but currently have averaged only 2.71 goals in their past seven games. The only reason that is so high is a seven-goal output against Edmonton.
Toronto is also trying to hold onto the two seed in their division, with 15 games left to play. That will give them home ice against Tampa Bay. Toronto needs that, as they are a much better home team.
On the individual front, Toronto has five guys currently with 20 or more goals on the season, led by William Nylander who has 35 goals. Right behind him is Auston Matthews who has scored a goal in three of his last four, but only has six tallies since the all-star break. John Tavares is also a 30-goal scorer, this year, but the trio failed to score again against Colorado. When that trio fails to score, Toronto has struggled this year
Ilya Samsonov is expected to get the start in the net tonight. Samsonov played great against Colorado, giving up only one goal in 28 shots, but lost in the shootout. He has been playing solid as of late as well. Four of his last five outings have seen save percentages over .906, and three are over .960. If he continues this hot streak, he keeps Toronto in games. This allows the Maple Leafs to figure out their offensive struggles.
Final Hurricanes-Maple Leafs Prediction & Pick
Both the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs come in to tonight with some questions. For the Hurricanes, it is how to replace the production of one of their best players. For Toronto, it is how to re-spark their offense. Both teams have been hit and miss recently, but Carolina has been better. Aho will get back to his scoring ways, and Carolina on the money line may be the best play.
Final Hurricanes-Maple Leafs Prediction & Pick: Hurricanes +1.5 (-245)