Toronto Maple Leafs (43-23-7) at Nashville Predators (48-14-10)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 22, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Nashville Predators / Toronto Maple Leafs --- Over/Under:
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The Toronto Maple Leafs look to make a statement on the road against the Nashville Predators as these two playoff bound squads do battle in the Music City.
The Leafs have struggled on the road over the last couple of weeks and will look to upend one of the league’s best home teams as they take on a Predators side that has dominated opponents from the Atlantic division and has 47 wins overall in their last 60 games. Toronto has grown from last year’s surprise run and look as though they are a lock to get back to the postseason once again this season as they are currently sitting in third place in the Atlantic division and will likely face off against the Boston Bruins in the opening round unless the Tampa Bay Lightning fall out of the division lead. Frederik Andersen is expected to get the start here as he will face off against Pekka Rinne who has had a Vezina calibre season in the Nashville crease and will be out to prove his worth once again here.
The Predators come into tonight’s game already locked into a playoff spot but they have their sights set on the President’s Trophy and as the model of consistency over the last month as they are 19-7 in their last 26 games following a win. Nashville has had their struggles with the Leafs though as Toronto has won four of the last five meetings between these two and defense has taken centre stage as four of the last five have gone under the total, and with the Leafs without Auston Matthews still and their last outing resulting in a blown lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning you can bet that Mike Babcock will have his team a little tighter in the defensive zone tonight.
The Leafs are 5-0 in their last five against the West and 1-5 in their last six road games while the Preds are 4-1 in their last five against the Atlantic and 4-0 in their last four Thursday games. Toronto is in trouble here as the Preds have too much depth for the Leafs and Rinne makes the difference.