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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 4/8/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Pittsburgh Penguins (50-19-11) at Toronto Maple Leafs (39-26-15)
Date & Time Saturday April 8, 2017, 7:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -170 / Pittsburgh Penguins +150 --- Over/Under: 5.5
TV Channel
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The Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Air Canada Centre to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL hockey.

With the end of the regular season almost upon us, there are still teams playing for something and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins were one of those teams. The Penguins wrapped up home ice advantage in round one of the playoffs with a monster offensive night in a 7-4 win at the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. The balanced Pens attack featured goals from Conor Sheary, Sydney Crosby, Nick Bonino, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Matt Cullen, Josh Archibald and Patric Hornqvist. Crosby and Bonino also gave Pitt two assists each while Matt Murray stopped 34 shots to get the win. The Devils struggled defensively but had a solid scoring game with John Moore, Stefan Noesen, Kyle Palmieri and Taylor Hall lighting the lamp while Corey Schneider absorbed the loss.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the verge of clinching a postseason berth and need two points with two games to play to lock  up a spot. The Maple Leafs had an opportunity to do just that against the injury depleted Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday but much to the displeasure of the Air Canada Centre crowd, a 4-1 defeat left the fate of the team dependent on the final weekend of the regular season. The Lightning came up big, banged up or not with quality performances at both ends of the ice with Brayden Point scoring twice with Nikita Kucherov, and Michael Bournival also lighting the lamp. Victor Hedman gave the Bolts three helpers while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 26 shots in the win. Nazem Kadri scored the lone goal for Toronto and Frederik Andersen took the loss with all four goals allowed on 30 shots.

The Penguins are 4-0 in their last 4 overall and the under is 8-1 in Penguins last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning home record while the under is 5-1 in Penguins last 6 games following a win. The under is 5-0 in Maple Leafs last 5 following a loss of 3 or more goals and the under is 11-2 in Maple Leafs last 13 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 days situation while the under is 4-1-1 in Maple Leafs last 6 home games. The under is 4-0-1 in the last 5 meetings and the under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Toronto while the Penguins are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.

The numbers say the Penguins and the under have been profitable so I’ll back the Pens but use caution in the final days…

Toronto -.5 // will update

I have been a sports fan since I was old enough to pick up a ball and have always been drawn to competition. I don't participate in sporting events any longer but I do like to provide my opinion on games and writing gives me that outlet. I won't always be right but I always put 100% in to every article I do whether it's the World Series or an 0-10 college football team. Mitch shares that same passion and allows me to express myself in my own way.

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