A preview of a potential Eastern Conference Final matchup highlights the NHL schedule on Thursday, as the Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the surging Pittsburgh Penguins as 1.73 home favourites on the NHL odds at 888Sport. The Maple Leafs return home after dropping two of three on a western road trip, but have posted six straight wins on home ice. The Penguins visit Toronto as strong 2.15 underdogs after solidifying their grasp on the top of the Metropolitan Division standings with a 5-4 comeback win over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.
CanadianBettingSites has got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Thursday night’s matchup at Scotiabank Arena. Sports bettors looking to get in on NHL action for the first time can check out our guide to the best online sportsbook reviews to learn all they need to know about hockey betting in Canada.
Penguins: 31-11-8, 70 points (1st, Metropolitan Division)
Maple Leafs: 31-12-3, 65 points (3rd, Atlantic Division)
Penguins vs Maple Leafs Betting Trends
Thursday night’s matchup marks the third and final regular season meeting between these Eastern Conference rivals. The Penguins dominated in two previous clashes this season, romping to a 7-1 home victory on October 23, and following up with a 2-0 win in Toronto on November 20. Overall, the Penguins have taken four of five from the Maple Leafs while outscoring Toronto by a wide 20-8 overall margin. Pittsburgh’s steady offensive production has fueled a 3-2 run for the OVER in their past five dates with the Leafs. And for the eighth time in 10 head-to-head meetings, the puck total is set at 6.5. However, it is the UNDER that holds the edge at the sportsbooks, favoured with 1.80 odds.
Pittsburgh Penguins News & Notes
The Penguins have enjoyed outstanding goaltending during the four-game win streak that has propelled them to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings. Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith have combined to allow just two goals per game during the team’s current surge, with Jarry stopping 71 of the 75 total shots he faced while posting wins in his past two appearances on the road.
Bryan Rust has 16 goals in his last 16 games, and has scored in each of his last five games – a new career-long streak. pic.twitter.com/uybh2fzbS5
— Penguins PR (@PenguinsPR) February 13, 2022
Up front, Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust have sparked the offence. Crosby has tallied three goals and nine assists during his current seven-game points streak, while Rust has found the back of the net seven times over his past seven game appearances. Rearguard has also been a reliable source of offensive production, racking five goals and 20 assists in20 outings since New Year’s Day.
The Pittsburgh Penguins remain a solid value bet to win the Metropolitan Division despite climbing into first place during a four-game win streak
Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes
The Maple Leafs mustered just one win during their recent three-game road trip, but the losses did not come due to lack of effort. The Leafs racked up 101 total shots on net while opening their road trip with frustrating losses in Calgary and Vancouver, and subsequently needed just 25 shots on goal to outpace the Kraken in Monday’s victory. Overall, Toronto has tallied 40 or more shots in five of their past 12 outings, and managed to earn the win in just two of those outings.
Mitch Marner destroyed the Seattle Kraken on this goal pic.twitter.com/f8CxkWKXYB
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 15, 2022
Overall, the Leafs have scored six or more goals in four of their past seven outings. Mitch Marner deserves considerable credit for his recent resurgence. The shifty winger contributed a goal and two assists in this week’s win in Seattle, and has racked up 11 markers and 11 assists in his past 11 contests. In addition, the Leafs are a sparkling 13-1-0 this season when the 24-year-old buries the biscuit. Auston Matthews has scored six times over his past three home appearances, and William Nylander his contributed five helpers over the past four games. However, Nylander has failed to score in seven straight outings.
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