Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs - 4/19/19 NHL - Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
Friday, April 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM (TD Garden)
Boston Bruins -161 / Toronto Maple Leafs +140
TV: NESN, NBCS
The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins meet in game five of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series from the TD Garden on Friday night.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to regain home ice advantage after letting one slip away in game four on Wednesday, falling to the Bruins by a final score of 6-4, evening the series up at two wins apiece.
Boston opened the scoring early, with Charlie McAvoy scoring just 3:03 into the game on the power play while Brad Marchand doubled Boston’s lead just 3:35 later. Zach Hyman got Toronto on the board late in the 1st to cut the deficit to 2-1 after 20 minutes of play. Auston Matthews scored just 1:07 into the 2nd to tie the game at two, but the tie was short-lived as David Pastrnak scored a pair of goals 1:35 apart to restore Boston’s two-goal cushion. The Bruins would ride that lead into the 3rd, making it 5-2 after Zdeno Chara found the back of the net early in the 3rd. Matthews scored his 2nd of the game to cut it to 5-3 and Travis Dermott scored just 1:35 later to bring the deficit back to a single goal but that’s as close as Toronto got, as joakim Nordstrom sealed the deal with an empty-netter with :02 to go in the game.
Tuukka Rask picked up the win after allowing four goals on 42 shots faced in the win to improve to 2-2-0 while Frederik Andersen dropped to 2-2-0 in defeat after allowing five goals on 30 shots faced in the loss.
Toronto is 2-5 in their last 7 road games and 2-5 in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 7-2 in their last 9 games overall. Boston is 52-21 in their last 73 home games and 22-10 in their last 32 games overall while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 games as a favorite. Toronto is 1-4 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams in Boston.
As a Leafs fan, I really hope I’m wrong here, but it almost seems like Boston has flipped the switch and figured out the way to beat Toronto. The Leafs have a hard time handling the rough bump and go style of play as Toronto’s offense is largely based around speed and finesse, and Toronto has had a hard time in this series rebounding after getting punched in the mouth. Toronto battled back a couple of times in game four, but after coming so close and falling short, sometimes that takes a toll on a team’s psyche. The Bruins regained home ice with the win and I think they won’t let it slip again, so I’ll side with Boston to take game five on Friday.