Florida Panthers (21-25-7) at Toronto Maple Leafs (28-21-6)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 30, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -152 / Florida Panthers +138 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Florida Panthers will continue their four-game road trip with a stop to play the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s the second meeting of the year between these two teams. Florida won the previous matchup 3-1.
After it looked like the Panthers were starting to build a little momentum with big wins over Pittsburgh and Buffalo, they’ve now lost two of their last three. That includes getting absolutely destroyed by the Boston Bruins 6-2 on Tuesday night. Now, they’ve lost one of their best players for good in Aleksander Barkov due to a knee injury. Goalie Tim Thomas has got to figure something out, as the eighth-year pro has allowed three or more goals in six straight starts.
The Maple Leafs have won seven of their last nine games and is getting it done in a variety of ways. Goalie Johnathan Bernier is saving 91.5 percent of shots on goal in the month of January, while center Nazem Kadri has nine points in his last seven games. Toronto has scored at least four goals in six of their last eight games and is keeping the pressure on in the Atlantic Division.
As for a prediction, it’s tough to go against the Maple Leafs in this one. They’re playing much better hockey, are more consistent and happen to have home ice advantage where they have won four straight.
Toronto has also won three of its last four games against the Panthers, is 6-0 in its last six against Atlantic competition and is 5-1 in its last six following a victory.
Pick the Maple Leafs with a great deal of confidence.