The Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers meet Friday in NHL action at the BB&T Center.
The Toronto Maple Leafs look for a spark of consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs are averaging 3.6 goals per game and are scoring on 22.2 percent of their power play opportunities. John Tavares leads Toronto with 29 goals, Mitch Marner has 41 assists and Morgan Rielly has 122 shots on goal. Defensively, the Toronto Maple Leafs are allowing 2.8 goals per game and are killing 80.9 percent of their opponents power plays. Frederik Andersen has given up 78 goals on 1,001 shots faced and Garret Sparks has allowed 28 goals on 295 shots. The Toronto Maple Leafs have allowed three or more goals in five of their last eight games.
The Florida Panthers could use a victory here to snap a brutal seven-game losing streak. The Florida Panthers are averaging three goals per game and are scoring on 25.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Mike Hoffman leads Florida with 22 goals, Jonathan Huberdeau has 35 assists and Aleksander Barkov has 115 shots on goal. Defensively, the Florida Panthers are allowing 3.6 goals per game and are killing 79.5 percent of their opponents power plays. Roberto Luongo has given up 67 goals on 623 shots faced and James Reimer has allowed 70 goals on 657 shots. The Florida Panthers have allowed four or more goals in each of their last seven games.
The Maple Leafs are 4-1 in their last 5 Friday games, 15-6 in their last 21 road games and 2-5 in their last 7 overall. The Panthers are 2-5 in their last 7 games playing on 2 days rest, 0-4 in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference and 0-7 in their last 7 overall. The Maple Leafs are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Florida and the home team is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings. The over is 13-5-1 in Panthers last 19 overall. The under is 4-1 in Maple Leafs last 5 overall.
The home team has owned the series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers, but even with plus money, backing the Panthers in their current form isn’t an option. The Florida Panthers are getting destroyed on the defensive end on a nightly basis and this feels like a team that’s starting to check out after failing to reach expectations yet again. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been a bit inconsistent recently, but they have the firepower to add to the Panthers struggles, a team that’s given up four or more goals in seven straight games. I’ll back Toronto on the road.