Tuesday night’s top NHL game features Toronto Maple Leafs at Pittsburgh Penguins looking to win after their loss to the Buffalo Sabres. They are a team compounded by inconsistency, failing to string a couple of positive results to lift them up the standings. The concern for Maple Leafs coach, Sheldon Keefe, is that they are within grasp of mounting a realistic championship challenge. With a record of 31-21-8 for the season, they are third in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
With commentators suggesting that the Stanley Cup will head to the Eastern Conference teams, a major contender for the lucrative trophy is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coming into the match with a two-game winning streak, the Penguins are brimming with confidence, having won five of the last seven games. Their current form has lifted them to second in the Metropolitan Division, a mere point away from being the leader of the division.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins Predictions
Pittsburgh will host Toronto at the PPG Paints Arena with the top spot beckoning. The Penguins’ home form will come in handy in tonight’s NHL action. They go up against a Toronto Maple Leafs team that is averaging 3.5 goals per game this season and scoring on 25 percent of their power plays. Here’s a closer look ar some of the factors that may swing the outcome of the match to either side:
Toronto is on the road, and they are playing the third game in four nights on Tuesday. That’s a lot of games to play, especially when they face up against a formidable opponent like the Penguins. Much of the setbacks came as a result of their defensive frailties, allowing 3.2 goals per game and only killing 78.2 percent of their opponent’s power play opportunities.
The attack remains lethal and showing little sign of fatigue. Toronto’s lead scorer, Auston Matthews, has 42 goals and will be supported by Mitch Marner, who has 45 assists, while Morgan Rielly has 122 shots on goal.
Pittsburgh has an impenetrable wall at the back, with Matt Murray in the form of his life. The Penguins’ goalie has kept out 876 shots and only allowed 84 goals. In the last 12 of their last 14 games in the league, the Pittsburgh Penguins allowed three or fewer goals per game.
It is easy to see that it is the defense that’s getting the job done for the Penguins when you look at their offensive record. Averaging 3.3 goals per game, the NHL team only scores in 20.1 percent of their power plays which is low.
Top NHL Betting Line
If you think history might repeat itself, you wouldn’t be wrong. In the head-to-head matchups between the two NHL teams, Toronto has the advantage with six wins in the nine games played. The record indicates that they can rise to the occasion and stand their own. Nevertheless, the home-ice record, as well as the defensive quality of the Penguins, will surely help find the way to get the result for Pittsburgh.
Date & Time: Tuesday February 18, 2020, 7:00 PM (EST)
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