There are two games on the slate for this Thursday. The Toronto Maple Leafs are at home for Game 2 against the Florida Panthers after dropping the first game, 4-2. Toronto is -180 on the Moneyline and the over/under is again set at 6.5 — the same total for Game 1. The Dallas Stars are also at home for Game 2 and, like the Maple Leafs, they also lost to the visiting Seattle Kraken in Game 1. Seattle and Dallas scored nine total goals in the first game with the Kraken taking the first game in overtime, 5-4. Despite that, the Stars are set at -195 on the Moneyline for Game 1, making them the biggest favorites on the slate.
Maple Leafs in Regulation -115
The Maple Leafs lost Game 1, 4-2 but they did manage to outshoot the Panthers 36-28 and also had four power-play chances (none of which they converted on). The Maple Leafs will have to solve Sergei Bobrovsky eventually but that is an achievable task. The 34-year-old posted just a .901 save percentage in the regular season and allowed five goals in two of his four starts against Boston in the first round. Florida struggled on special teams during the regular season and ranked just 21st in penalty-kill efficiency.
Toronto posted the second-best power play in the league during the regular season and should be able to get that part of its game going soon. Florida is playing its third game in six days which isn’t abnormal in terms of rest, but certainly puts Toronto at a rest advantage today. I’d look for the Maple Leafs (28-11-6 home record) to bounce back quickly in this spot and put pressure on the Panthers from the start. The -180 moneyline isn’t super appealing but the regulation line at -115 is even if it comes with more risk.
This spot was a toss-up between Rielly or Auston Matthews — who is +140 to score a power play point today — but the thesis on both plays remains the same. The Panthers killed penalties just 76% of the time in the regular season, the worst percentage among all active Eastern Conference playoff teams. Toronto posted the second-best power play unit in the league last year and should get going soon. If and when that happens, Reilly will be in a great spot to cash in.
The defenseman has averaged over 3:00 mins of power play time per game in the playoffs so far and has a point in each of the last six games. During the regular season, 18 of his 41 points came on the power play and he’s now going up against a weaker defensive squad and penalty kill, which should up his probability of seeing a point here. Taking the bigger +245 payout option for a power play point is a nice way to play Toronto’s best blue-liner today, who has scored in all but one playoff game thus far.
The Stars lost Game 1 but their offense showed why it can hang with anyone in the league. Dallas scored four goals for the fourth time in six games and it came without contributions from their first line. Dallas may have issues stopping Seattle’s offensive attack but the return of Joe Pavelski gives enough depth up front which will be impossible to contain, especially for a squad like Seattle, who ranks second in terms of quality scoring chances allowed this postseason.
The +120 line gives us a 45.45% implied rating but Dallas has been hitting this over over 50% of the time lately, netting four or more goals in seven of its last 12 starts dating back to the regular season. With their top two lines now back to full strength — and at home in a must-win Game 2 — backing their offense for another big game seems prudent.
Hintz didn’t score in Game 1 but he did play over 19:00 mins of ice and landed five shots on goal, his highest mark of the postseason so far. Hintz has been shooting more over the last couple of games and comes in with 11 shots over his last three outings. The two-way center is relied on to do a lot for Dallas and he and the rest of the first line should be eager to contribute after getting shutout from the scoresheet in Game 1.
The Kraken have been excellent at killing penalties this postseason but they are performing well above expectation compared to their regular season mark, where they killed penalties just 76% of the time. Hintz gets plenty of special teams looks, which should only add to his upside tonight. At +150, it also makes sense to add an anytime goalscorer prop — especially if you’re looking to correlate the first bet (Dallas over 3.5 goals) in a same game parlay.
The Kraken have been getting contributions from everywhere lately but one name that has really stuck out over their last few outings is Oliver Bjorkstrand. The Swedish winger has had a very up-and-down first year with Seattle but has been a dominant goalscorer for longer stretches in his previous stops in the NHL. He’s clearly in the good graces of the coaching staff at the moment having seen his ice time rise gradually to where he played over 19:00 mins in Game 1 against Dallas. Bjorkstrand has landed 20 shots across his last five games and should again be expected to be one of the leaders in ice time for Seattle after scoring in Game 1. Looking to him to register over 2.5 shots today — before his total moves or the odds slip closer to -200 territory — makes a ton of sense.
All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds are subject to change.
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