The Toronto Maple Leafs face a quick turnaround on Tuesday, playing their second game in as many nights. The good news for them is that their opponents, the New York Rangers, are just a little down the road from the Islanders, making the commute minimal. The bad news? Well, being tired isn’t great, and facing a great team on the second night is usually trouble.
Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Rangers
For a rare change of pace, the Leafs are noticeable road underdogs at +145 tonight.
Maple Leafs vs. Rangers odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds
|Rangers Moneyline Odds
|Maple Leafs -1.5 (-180), Rangers +1.5 (+150)
|6.5 goals (over -105, under -115)
|Dec. 12, 7:00 p.m. ET
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
About the Maple Leafs (14-6-5 SU, 5-18 ATS, 12-12-1 o/u)
Moral victories can get tiring, but once in a while, they’re worth tucking in your pocket. For the Maple Leafs, yesterday’s performance definitely qualifies. After falling behind 2-1 in the first period and 3-1 in the second, the blue and white turned it on in the back half of the game, heavily outshooting the Islanders and slowly chipping away at the lead. John Tavares fought through traffic to redirect a Conor Timmins shot and half the deficit, and with six seconds remaining, Morgan Rielly tied the game by cleaning up a rebound in front of the net.
That rebound went off Tavares, so with it came his 1,000th career point. The bench cleared to celebrate as the New York Islanders faithful, not willing to break character and remember the good times for even a second (good for them, honestly), booed their former captain mercilessly. Getting him to that milestone in the place where it all started felt all too fitting, and it came with a standings point as well.
Unfortunately, it was just one. The Leafs rattled off the first two shots in overtime, but the Islanders countered quickly and ended the 3-on-3 festivities with Bo Horvat completing an odd-man rush.
On most nights, there’d be disappointment that the Leafs couldn’t get it done, but the rally combined with Tavares’ milestone gives this one a silver lining. That all goes away Tuesday, though, as the team needs to dig deep to find some energy to take on an even tougher opponent.
About the Rangers (19-6-1 SU, 12-14 ATS, 11-14-1 o/u)
It’s been an excellent start to the season for the Rangers, even with their share of adversity. While many thought the Metropolitan Division would be a race between the Hurricanes and Devils, it’s the Blueshirts who lead the pack right now, largely buoyed by a tear across late October to early December where they went a blistering 16-2-1, with four separate win streaks of three or more.
It hasn’t come in the traditional ways either. Igor Shesterkin has been pretty good, but not his elite, Vezina-calibre self. Jonathan Quick has turned the clock as a backup, though. Adam Fox missed a bunch of time, but everyone around him stepped up and now he’s back to his usual self. Artemi Panarin seems like he’s back in fine form and their top six feels as good as any in the league.
The Rangers recently suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season, getting outscored a combined 10-2 by Ottawa and Washington, but are currently riding the wave of a convincing victory over the scorching-hot Los Angeles Kings.
The last game between these two came very late into last season – Toronto’s last game of the regular season, in fact – and it was a nailbiter for the blue and white. Kaapo Kakko opened the scoring for New York in the second period, and it required not one, but two third-period rallies for Toronto to eventually get itself back ahead. Timothy Liljegren got the Leafs going and Noel Acciari scored the eventual game-winner. Only two of the goals in this game – one from Panarin, and one from William Nylander – came from players expected to play Tuesday. The goalies will be different too, with Joseph Woll on the IR and Jaroslav Halak no longer with the Rangers.
|Toronto Maple Leafs
|New York Rangers
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nicholas Robertson – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
William Lagesson – Jake McCabe
Simon Benoit – Conor Timmins
Starting In Goal
Martin Jones (Unconfirmed)
1-0-0, 6.00 GAA, 0.900 SV%
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Blake Wheeler
Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle – Nick Bonino – Jonny Brodzinski
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Tyler Pitlick
Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Erik Gustafsson – Braden Schneider
Starting In Goal
Igor Shesterkin (Unconfirmed)
10-6-0, 2.83 GAA, 0.908 SV%
The Maple Leafs are most likely running the same lineup as usual, though there’s a pretty decent shot that Martin Jones will get his first proper game of the year between the pipes. Jones, who came in for Joseph Woll last week after he suffered a high-ankle sprain, posted a .886 save percentage over 48 games and 42 starts (27-13-3) last year for Seattle. Once one of the most highly-touted young goaltenders in the league, Jones has been a shadow of his career start, posting his last season above .900 back in 2018. With that said, he only needs to survive a couple of nights down this stretch, and with most goalies in this league, you legitimately never know what’s coming next.
Over in New York, injuries have made its lineup a bit more top-heavy than planned. The one exception to a very productive top-six is Blake Wheeler, whose $800,000 salary still makes him a relative bargain, but just six points in 26 games leaves a lot to be desired. On the blue line, New York has gotten a lot of mileage out of brief Leaf Erik Gustafsson, who already has 15 points on the season. K’Andre Miller was confirmed Tuesday morning to be out for personal reasons.
William Nylander anytime goal
Toronto is unchanged. Woll (high ankle), Liljegren (high ankle) and Mark Giordano (finger) are all still recovering from their injuries, and John Klingberg and Matt Murray are gone to the abyss (season-ending LTIR).
On the Rangers’ end, two-thirds of their famous “kid line” is out for the long haul. Kakko has a lower-body injury that pushed him to LTIR two weeks ago, and Filip Chytil has been out for a little over a month now with an upper-body injury.
- The Rangers have a pretty clear advantage in recent matchups between these two teams, winning straight-up in six of the past 10 games between the two teams, and going 8-2 on the puckline. For Maple Leafs bettors, 10 equal bets on the puckline would’ve cost you about 6.18 units.
- New York is 7-3 in its last 10 games and 8-2 in its last 10 home games, including three home wins in a row. Like the Leafs, the Rangers have been bad favourites on the puckline, going 3-7 in their last 10 from that position.
- The over is 4-1 in Toronto’s last five games and 6-4 in its last 10.
Player prop trends
- The Core 4 is starting to heat up for the Maple Leafs. Over their last five games, Auston Matthews (5G 2A) and Nylander (1G 6A) have seven points, Mitch Marner (4G 2A) has six, and Tavares (1G 4A) has five. Tavares, Nylander, and Matthews are all averaging well over their shot props as well, with 19, 20, and 25 shots on goal, respectively.
- Three Rangers are above a point per game in their last 10 games. Mika Zibanejad has 11 points (5G 6A), Panarin has 12 (6G 6A), and Vincent Trocheck has 10 (1G 9A).
- If you’re looking for shot volume, the second line are your guys. Panarin has 37 shots on goal in his last 10, while Trocheck and Alexis Lafreniere have 32.
Wagers to consider
- Matthews took a whopping 11 shots on goal against the Islanders, clearing his typical line of 4.5 by over double. I was curious as to whether or not he’s the type to “burn out” the next game and follow up with a bad night. Over the past three years, he’s cleared seven shots in a game 30 times, and followed it up with an average of 4.6 shots the next game. Overall, he’s averaged about 4.55 shots per game in that same period. So it’s probably not a predictor of much. With that said, he’s only cleared 4.5 in two of his last seven games against the Rangers, and four of 18 times overall, so the under might be the wiser play here at -140.
- Nylander has just one goal in his last eight games, but has taken a healthy 31 shots on goal in that stretch and is on a five-game point streak. I would consider him for an anytime goal at +115 tonight.
- This feels like it should probably be a Rangers win, especially if Toronto goes with Jones in goal. If you feel the same way, a Same Game Parlay with them winning, Trocheck clearing three shots on goal, and Panarin picking up a goal is available at +450, boosted from +375.