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Panthers vs. Maple Leafs, 7:08 ET
After a spectacular set of games in the first round of the NHL playoffs, we are now onto the second round and I’m not sure how they can live up to the expectations. We had three series that went seven games and another four that went six games. Tonight we get the opening game between the Panthers and the Maple Leafs for round two.
Florida pulled off one of the more improbable upsets in the past few years. Boston had the best record in the history of the NHL and then they completely collapsed and fell in seven games. Florida had their backs against the wall for three straight games and won both on the road and at home. I do think part of it is that Boston couldn’t live up to the expectations. However, the Panthers played really good hockey and scored at last four goals in each of the past three games. Their defense isn’t great and will likely allow three goals per game in this series as well. The offense has been clicking, and even though they were outshot in Game 7, they were able to win the game. So they are being effective in their opportunities.
The Maple Leafs knocked off the Lightning in the opening round. After years of success, Tampa Bay was finally taken down early in the playoffs, and the Maple Leafs have to feel good about themselves as well. They will need to do a better job of staying out of overtime because anything can happen in those moments. Three of their wins came in overtime victories. It doesn’t matter how they come, just that they get the wins. I do think the Maple Leafs win this game with relative ease. The Panthers will be off of an emotional victory and the Leafs are rested. Their defense might be able to be more successful in this game than that of Florida, but I still think Toronto will allow a couple of goals in the net. They should be able to score fairly regularly though.
This is likely a game where we see a lot of goals. I think a final score of 5-2 is in line for the Maple Leafs. I’m going to back the over 6.5 in this game. The Panthers offense is capable of putting up three in any game and we know the Maple Leafs are too. I’ll back the over.
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