Montreal Canadiens (25-24-11) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (38-15-7)
May 27, 2021 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -227 / Montreal Canadiens +180; Over/Under: -5.5
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The Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs meet in game five of their best of seven NHL playoff series in hockey action from Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night.
The Montreal Canadiens will look to stave off elimination and force a game six after Toronto picked up a 3-1 series lead, taking both meetings in Montreal after a 4-0 win for the Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
The game was scoreless through the opening 20 minutes before William Nylander opened the scoring for Toronto 1:27 into the second period. Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton scored 2:28 apart to push the lead to 3-0 with just over five minutes to go in the middle frame and despite Montreal putting major pressure on Toronto, holding a 14-4 edge in terms of shots on goal in the final frame, the Habs wouldn’t break the seal as Alex Galchenyuk pushed the lead to 4-0 on an empty net against his former team.
Jack Campbell picked up the win and a first career playoff shutout after stopping all 32 shots faced in the winning effort for the Maple Leafs while Carey Price ended up with the loss once again for Montreal after allowing 3 goals on 27 shots faced in the defeat for the Habs.
Montreal is 3-8 in their last 11 games as a road underdog and 1-8 in their last 9 games overall while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 road games. Toronto is 5-1 in their last 6 home games and 10-4 in their last 14 games overall while the under is 7-1-2 in their last 10 games following a win. The favorite is 26-9 in the last 35 meetings between these two teams.
I understand the allure of backing Montreal with this kind of plus money when their season is on the line. However, call it a homer pick if you want, but the Leafs have been the better team over the last three games and while Toronto hasn’t had the real experience of fully closing out a series, I have to think they get the job done here with how lacklustre the Habs have looked. Give me Toronto -1.5.