The prime time game in the NHL Playoffs on Saturday has the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting the Boston Bruins in Game 5 on NBC. The Maple Leafs had all kinds of trouble in Boston in the first two games of this series, losing 5-1 and 7-3. If the Maple Leafs are to win this series, they have to find a way to win in Boston. Let’s look at Saturday night’s contest and NHL Playoff picks.
This war on the ice will go down Saturday, April 21, 2018, at 8 p.m. ET at TD Garden. The game will be televised live on NBC.
We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Saturday schedule.
The Maple Leafs score plenty of goals but they have had trouble keeping the puck out of the net, especially in Boston. Toronto played much better at home, but to win this series they have to find a way to win at TD Garden. "I thought Game 1 we were no good, I thought Game 2 we were way better than the score indicated, to be honest with you," head coach Mike Babcock said to the media. "I thought we started good in that game and it didn't go our way, it kind of came unraveled.”
Toronto has shown in this series that they have the ability to strike quickly. "We've seen it a couple times this series where the D will jump in and next thing you know they're off to the races. They play that style where they just want to counter so fast with their speed.” Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy said recently, They want to use their speed at all times. So, you've really got to make sure you're counting five guys all the time and keeping them in front of you because they'll go for those stretches, those breakaways." Boston has been outshooting the Maple Leafs on a regular basis, so if Toronto is to win they have to convert on their chances and get very good goaltending from Frederik Andersen.
The Maple Leafs were not that bad on the road during the regular season, going 20-21, with 21 going over, 18 going under, with two pushes. The Bruins were very good at home in the regular season, going 28-13, with 19 games going over, 19 going under, with three pushes.
The Maple Leafs have the 2nd best power play in the league and they have been pretty good in penalty killing at 11th in the league. Boston has excellent special teams, as they were 4th in the league on the power play and they were 3rd in penalty killing.
The Maple Leafs had more than held their own against the Bruins before this series began, winning six of the last seven meetings. They had also split their last eight in Boston, with six of the eight going under the total.
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The Bruins blitzed the Maple Leafs in the first two games of this series in Boston but I don’t see that happening again. Toronto proved at home that they can play with the Bruins. There is no question that Boston has the better defense, but Toronto is more than capable of matching the scoring of the Bruins. Despite what happened in the first two games in Boston, the Maple Leafs have shown they can win at TD Garden. I also think the price on this game is going to be inflated because of what happened in the first two games. I will take the plus price on Toronto in this game. I also can’t ignore what has been going on in this series in terms of goal scoring, so I will play the game to go over the total.
NHL Odds: Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 3
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