Toronto Maple Leafs (30-22-14) at Carolina Hurricanes (27-27-10)
|Date & Time||Saturday March 11, 2017, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Carolina Hurricanes -115 / Toronto Maple Leafs +104 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Carolina Hurricanes look to keep their respectable home ice record intact as they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to town on Saturday night.
The Leafs look for a pivotal road win against the Hurricanes in Raleigh on Saturday as they continue their pursuit of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, but will be facing off with a Canes side that is coming off a win against the Rangers and is playing with some confidence. Toronto heads into tonight’s game sitting a single point back of the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but with 16 games left on their schedule there is still time for the Buds to go on a run and play their way into the top three positions in the Atlantic division. Toronto is expected to send Frederik Andersen to the crease here as he will face off against Cam Ward who played very well against the Rangers and will be leaned on heavily once again if the Canes are going to get the victory.
Carolina meanwhile had a decent start to the season and looked as though they were going to challenge for a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference but they have tapered off considerably in the second half and are a full 11 points back of the Isles for the last playoff spot heading into tonight’s action. Carolina does have a handful of solid pieces to lean on moving forward and they could very well add another to their lineup with a high draft pick this summer and as one of the lower scoring teams in the league the Canes need to find someone who can fill the offensive left by Eric Staal. The Canes are a slight home favourite in this spot and 19 of their 27 wins have come in Raleigh but they are getting a Leafs side that is going to be playing some desperate hockey over the few weeks as they gear up for a run at the playoffs.
The Leafs are 5-2 in their last seven against a team with a losing record and 2-5 in their last seven overall while the Canes are 3-10 in their last 13 and are 2-5 in their last seven home games. The Canes are coming off an impressive win but I think they get dealt a dose of reality as the young Leafs are a step ahead of where the Canes want to be and we see that shine through here.