Toronto Maple Leafs (17-14-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (23-10-1)
|Date & Time||Monday December 16, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -210 / Toronto Maple Leafs +190 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Maple Leafs look to build on their blowout victory over the Blackhawks on Saturday as they head to Pittsburgh to face another league powerhouse.
The Leafs were in the midst of an ugly losing skid that stretched to 12 contests without a regulation victory but things changed in a hurry over the weekend as the Buds lit up the Blackhawks for seven goals and emphatically ended their losing ways. Toronto has had to endure a number of losses both to suspension and injury this season and while they have paid for those absences in the standings they look as though they’re ready to rally with the guys they have and if they want to make the playoffs that is a critical step forward. The Leafs have received stellar goaltending from both Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer this season and while the former appears to have earned the starter’s role head coach Randy Carlyle can be confident in both options on any given night. However, it looks as though Bernier will get the nod in Pittsburgh tonight as he goes head to head with Marc Andre Fleury.
The Penguins continue to be the class of the Eastern Conference as their offense heavy roster is among the scariest in the NHL and with the way goaltender Marc Andre Fleury has played of late it gives the Pens a lot of confidence playing in front of him. Pittsburgh currently sits atop the lackluster Metro division and are a point up on the Bruins for top spot in the Eastern Conference but have a handful of teams from the West who are right with them in the race for the President’s Trophy. The Penguins are playing some of their lest hockey of the season right now as they have ripped off three straight victories and are an impressive 14-3 so far at home this season which doesn’t bode well for the Leafs. However I do think Toronto has success in this spot as they will be loaded with confidence after Saturday’s victory and I think they can keep this close and at the very worst earn a single point.