1st Period Play in Nashville vs. Toronto

Predators vs. Maple Leafs, 7:30 ET

All good things come to an end, right? Well, I dropped my first NHL play of my public handicapping career the other night when I picked the over in the Nashville game. I was right that the Predators would score at least three goals. Unfortunately, the Senators didn't hold up their end of the bargain and scored zero goals. I am now back and looking to get back in the win column after the loss. Keep in mind, this isn't a sport of expertise for me, it is something I'm learning and sharing as I go, so play with caution.

Nashville isn't amazing and has just a 19-14-6 record on the season, but they have been playing much better lately and are on a four-game winning streak. Their last loss was an overtime loss as well, so they are playing close games even when they lose. They are looking like they will send goalie, Juuse Saros between the pipes. Saros is coming off of a shutout in his last game and has done a really good job of keeping the Predators in most games. Aside from that game, he has allowed three goals in four of his past six starts. That isn't super encouraging, but he's done a decent job keeping opponents out of the net for some of the more recent games in the first period. This isn't the exact same roster, but Saros did start two games against Toronto last season and both games resulted in a 1-0 first period.

Toronto is one of the best teams in the NHL this season sporting a 25-9-7 record and a stellar 14-3-4 home-ice record. On the season the Maple Leafs have been very stingy with just 2.59 goals allowed to opponents per game. They don't get many penalties and they are solid in the power play game. In their goal tonight they will have Matt Murray. Murray has been very good this year with a 10-4-2 record and has a .916 save percentage on the year. Over his last nine games, he's allowed two or fewer goals in five of the games. He's either really hot or easily scored upon. Two of his last three home starts have gone under the 1.5 first-period total.

The Maple Leafs at home have actually been an under team with 11 of their 18 home games going under the total in the first period. Nashville on the road is pretty even with ten games over in the first period and nine under. I'm taking the under 1.5 goals in the first period. I do think this is closer to a 50/50 chance than I normally like, but at +110 I'm taking a shot at the small-value play.

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