Maple Leafs-Lightning 4/21 Prediction, Best Bets & TV Info

By | April 21, 2022

Hockey fans will be in for a treat on Thursday, April 21 in the form of a potential 2021-22 NHL playoff matchup as the Toronto Maple Leafs go head-to-head with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Toronto enters the contest on a four-game winning streak while currently occupying the No. 2 spot in the Atlantic Division with a 51-20-6 record, good for 108 points.

Meanwhile, the Lightning own a 46-22-8 record and 100 points, putting them in third place in the Atlantic. With eight points separating them from the Maple Leafs, it’s looking like a first-round matchup unless the Boston Bruins leapfrog Tampa Bay.

This game will also mark the second time in three weeks that the divisional rivals have met. The two squared off on April 4, ending in a 6-2 blowout in favor of Toronto.

Can the Maple Leafs clinch the Atlantic Division’s second seed? Or will the Lightning get revenge for the loss in their last meeting?

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Matchup Info and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: Toronto Maple Leafs (51-20-6, 108 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (46-22-8, 100 points, 3rd in Atlantic Division)
  • Venue & Location: Amalie Arena (Tampa, Florida)
  • Date: Thursday, April 21, 2022
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch Maple Leafs vs. Lightning on TV: ESPN

Betting Odds

  • Moneyline: Toronto Maple Leafs +100, Tampa Bay Lightning -120
  • Total: OVER 7 (+102), UNDER 7 (-124)
  • Puck Line: Toronto Maple Leafs +1.5 (-250), Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (+205)

Odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Maple Leafs Seek Fifth Straight Win

Going on a deep playoff run is all about catching fire at the right time and that’s exactly what the Maple Leafs have done in recent weeks.

As mentioned earlier, Toronto has won four consecutive games ahead of this matchup. On top of that, the club has also won 11 of its last 13 games, going 11-1-1- during that stretch.

If the Maple Leafs hope to win another consecutive game, they must continue scoring goals at the rate that they have been. They’ve averaged 5.08 goals in their last 13 games, which ranks first in the NHL over that stretch.

Unsurprisingly, Auston Matthews has been Toronto’s leading goal-scorer during its recent successful run. He has 11 goals in 13 games over that span, giving him 58 on the season. He hasn’t scored since April 9, so time will tell if he can change his fortunes.

Mitchell Marner has also been impressive, pacing his teammates with 24 points over that span as well. William Nylander (17), Morgan Rielly (16), John Tavares (16) and Michael Bunting (13) have all shown up as well, being the other Maple Leafs players playing at point-per-game paces.

While Toronto’s offense has been great, the goaltending has been about average. While Jack Campbell is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts, his 2.95 goals-against average and .906 save percentage aren’t anything special.

Meanwhile, backup goalie Erik Kallgren hasn’t been much better, going 4-1-0 in his last five appearances with a 3.45 GAA and .877 SV%. Needless to say, the Maple Leafs can’t afford to have their offense disappear with the way their goalies have been playing.

Can the Lightning Snap Out of Their Funk?

With the Lightning being the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, expectations were, understandably, high when the 2021-22 NHL season begin.

While they’ve looked like a championship threat at times, they’ve also been struggling in recent weeks to build any momentum ahead of the postseason.

The Lightning are an uninspiring 3-4-2 in their last nine games, barely outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 29-28.

While Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each have 12 points apiece over that stretch and Victor Hedman isn’t far behind with nine of his own, the rest of the team’s players haven’t been showing up lately.

That was essentially why the Lightning lost to the Maple Leafs earlier this month. While Kucherov had a goal and Stamkos had a pair of assists, there weren’t any other notable contributors in the 6-2 loss. That can’t happen again tonight.

The good news is that the Lightning have won two of their last three games and have seen eight different goal-scorers over that stretch. If things have truly changed, Tampa Bay should have an easier time keeping up with Toronto.

However, like the Maple Leafs’ goalies, Andrei Vasilevskiy must be better for the Lightning after recording a 3.66 GAA and .887 SV% in his last six appearances.

Stanley Cup Odds

When it comes to Stanley Cup odds, both the Lightning and the Maple Leafs are among the top contenders.

BetMGM actually has them both tied with the Carolina Hurricanes at +1000 for having the fourth-best odds to win the 2021-22 Stanley Cup.

Things are a bit different on FanDuel Sportsbook where the Lightning are also fourth at +1000, however, the Maple Leafs are tied with the Hurricanes for fifth at +1100.

Finally, on Caesars Sportsbook, the Maple Leafs are tied with the Calgary Flames for the third-best odds at +900, whereas the Lightning and Hurricane share +1100 odds (T-No. 5) again.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Prediction and Best Bets

In what could be a first-round playoff matchup, I’m siding with the Maple Leafs as the outright winners. Whether it’s the team’s momentum or how the star players are playing, they look to be in much better shape than the Lightning.

As for the best bet, let’s take Toronto as a +100 moneyline underdog on FanDuel Sportsbook for the decent value it provides.

Other 2021-22 NHL Season Content on Betting News

  • Auston Matthews Aiming for 1st 70-Goal NHL Season Since 1993
  • NHL Stanley Cup 2022 Futures Betting Odds & Top Contenders
  • 2022 Stanley Cup Odds: Why Not to Bet on the Avalanche

The post Maple Leafs-Lightning 4/21 Prediction, Best Bets & TV Info appeared first on Betting News.

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