ESPN+ will have a live stream of Saturday’s matchup between the Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs with the puck set to drop 7:07 p.m. ET. The game will take place at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. CBC will air the game as part of it’s Hockey Night in Canada coverage. Sportsnet Ontario will have the local Maple Leafs broadcast and Bally Sports Florida will have the local Panthers broadcast for southern part of Florida.
Toronto (51-21-6) sits comfortably in second place in the Atlantic Division and this game against the Panthers could be a preview of a second-round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Maple Leafs will welcome back top-scoring center Auston Matthews to the lineup. Matthews (58 G, 44 A) has missed three straight games with an undisclosed injury. He remains the favorite to win the Hart Trophy and is two goals short of the magical 60. Toronto has won six of eight, but struggled in an 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Florida (56-15-6) has won a franchise-best 12 games in a row and are an amazing 33-6-0 at home. The Panthers are also eyeing the President’s Trophy for the NHL’s best record. With 118 points, they are two ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and have one game in hand. Florida is the top offensive team in the NHL with a league-leading 325 goals and a eye-popping plus-103 goal differential. Forward Jonathan Huberdeau (30 G, 83 A) should be a Hart Trophy finalist and has 29 points in the past 16 games. The Panthers won the previous matchup between the two teams 7-6 in overtime.
Maple Leafs vs. Panthers
Game odds on DraftKings Sportsbook, picks & predictions
Puck line: +1.5 (-195), -1.5 (+165)
Total: Over 7.5 (+115), Under 7.5 (-135)
Moneyline odds: Maple Leafs (+115), Panthers (-135)
Best bet: Over 7.5 (+115)
After the 7-6 shootout these two teams played earlier in the month and Toronto’s humiliating 8-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday one would think that defense would be message for both teams going into Saturday. But I’m not buying it. These two teams like to score and score a lot. They both want a fast-paced offensive game with a lot of odd-man rushes and breakaways. I don’t expect another 7-6 shootout and Toronto will play a lot better than it did Thursday. But a 5-4 overtime win for Florida is definitely in the cards.
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