The Maple Leafs returned from the All-Star break on Monday and it didn’t go too well for them, coming out pointless to a New York Islanders team that had already beat them twice in overtime. While most are ready to accept that this year’s rendition of the Blue and White is closer to the “pretty good” tier than the “contender” tier, they could make a pivot back in the right direction Wednesday night with a win against the deep and heating-up Dallas Stars.
Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Stars
The Maple Leafs are home favourites going into tonight, sitting at -150 on the moneyline (bet365), with the gap widening overnight.
Maple Leafs vs. Stars odds
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds
|Stars Moneyline Odds
|Maple Leafs -1.5 (+165), Stars +1.5 (-200)
|6.5 goals (over -110, under -110)
|Feb. 7, 7:00 p.m. ET
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)
About the Maple Leafs (25-15-8 SU, 15-33 ATS, 25-21-2 o/u)
All eyes were on Scotiabank Arena on Monday night, hoping that the Leafs could avoid getting swept in their season series against the New York Islanders. They couldn’t, and it came in among the “Leafiest” ways possible.
First, Mathew Barzal, who played with Toronto’s four representatives on Team Matthews over All-Star Weekend, broke open the scoring for the Islanders. Mitch Marner tied the game for the Leafs seconds into the second period but at the end of a power play that they drew shortly after, Kyle MacLean came out of the box and put the Islanders up with his first NHL goal. John Tavares made things even for the Leafs once again with five minutes remaining in the third, but Pierre Engvall responded two and a half minutes later with what ended up being the game-winner.
A player chumming it up with the Leafs a few days, a first NHL goal, and a former Leaf. It was a Toronto narrative hat trick on a night where they outplayed their opponents, and got zero points out of it. If there was a bright side, it was seeing Tavares get back on track in terms of production, and Ilya Samsonov having another strong opponent, stopping 26 of 29.
About the Stars (31-13-6 SU, 18-32 ATS, 31-18-1 o/u)
The Stars come into this one with wins in four consecutive games, though last night’s effort might leave them a little tired. In their first game back from the break, they headed to the KeyBank Center in Buffalo to take on the Sabres, and it took a dominant performance from Jake Oettinger to keep them on the right side of victory. Matt Duchene’s icebreaker and Sam Steel’s game-winner were enough to get them across the finish line thanks to their netminder’s 47-save performance, only allowing a lone bomb from Tage Thompson.
It was the lowest-scoring game of this win streak, which features 5-4 wins against Detroit and Washington and a 4-3 win against Anaheim. Three of their last five games have gone to overtime, though that likely matters a little less with the time off.
The two teams have faced off once already this season, with the Leafs getting the better of the Stars in their home rink on October 26th. Morgan Rielly’s opening goal was met by former Leafs forward Mason Marchment in the second period, but from there, Toronto pulled away, getting ahead via Mitch Marner’s second of the season and further bolstered by Tyler Bertuzzi and John Tavares scoring in the third period. Rielly was the most productive Leaf on the night, getting an assist on the Bertuzzi goal to go with his own tally.
|Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs Lines
|Today’s Dallas Stars Lines
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nicholas Robertson – Max Domi – Noah Gregor
Pontus Holmberg – Bobby McMann – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
Starting In Goal
9-6-1, 2.64 GAA, 0.911 SV%
Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Wyatt Johnston
Mason Marchment – Matt Duchene – Tyler Seguin
Jamie Benn – Sam Steel – Joe Pavelski
Craig Smith – Radek Faksa – Evgenii Dadonov
Thomas Harley – Miro Heiskanen
Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
Ryan Suter – Nils Lundkvist
Starting In Goal
13-4-4, 2.98 GAA, 0.899 SV%
The Stars lineup is one I’ve got a lot of time for, particularly up front. It’s one of the only groups that seems to have talent on both ends of the puck across all four lines, to a degree where you have to respect whoever is on the ice at all times.
One of the fun narratives that will surround this game, of course, is the Robertson brothers. We don’t get to see Nick and Jason face off against each other too often, though it often brings out the best in both – Nick’s OT winner in October 2022 being the most notable moment between them.
We’ll see if the goaltending remains as listed below. I’d expect both teams to not be too pushy towards their respective starters given their last appearances being so recent, though that could change if either side sees a particular urgency in Wednesday’s game.
Nick (TOR) and Jason (DAL) Robertson to each score a goal
The Leafs don’t have any new updates on their injured players, beyond David Kampf’s return likely coming next week rather than in the next couple of days. On Dallas’ end, they’re completely healthy.
- The Stars have been a great matchup for the Leafs in recent history. Toronto is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings of the two teams, including wins in five in a row dating back to March 2022. It’s been an even split on the puckline, with the 5-5 record meaning a slight loss of about half a unit if you took the Leafs for the same amount of money in all 10 games. The goals over has hit in six of the last 10 games between the two.
- The puckline remains a problem for the Leafs, as it has been for much of the year. They’re 2-8 against it in their last 10, and 1-4 in their last five at home. The straight-up results have been better, but still not great of late; 4-6 in their last 10, and 3-7 in their last 10 at home.
- Dallas, as mentioned, is pretty hot, winning four in a row and posting a record of 7-2-1 in their last 10. Their road record isn’t quite as pretty, at 6-4 in their last 10. They’ve also had a bit of trouble with the puckline of late, going 1-4 in their last four games.
Player Prop Trends
- Leading the scoresheet for the Stars in their last 10 games is Roope Hintz. The two-way forward has five goals and six assists for 11 points in that span. Matt Duchene is the team leader in goals (six), while three players (Thomas Harley, Jason Robertson, and Tyler Seguin) all have seven assists in that time.
- For the most part, these are the usual suspects, with Robertson leading the team in full-season assists (33) and points (50), Hintz leading the team in goals (22), and Duchene having a bounceback season with 46 points in 49 games.
- While Auston Matthews was kept off the goal sheet on Monday, just about every player in the league will take the nine goals he has in his last 10 games. His 13 points also lead the team, with Mitch Marner trailing behind in that stretch with 10. As usual, Matthews (38), William Nylander (39), and John Tavares (39) all hover around the four shots-on-goal per game mark.
Wagers To Consider
- I think this could be a game where Toronto pulls out a hope-giving win, similar to their pair against the Jets a couple of weeks ago. Dallas had a busy night in Buffalo on Tuesday, Monday was the exact type of egg that the Leafs usually find a way to rebound from, and the recent history between the two teams is in their favour here. I have exactly zero trust in taking the puckline with them, but I’d have time for the moneyline, especially if it gets any closer to even.
- On Dallas’ end, I’d look to Matt Duchene to have a big night. He’s historically played well against the Leafs (16 points in 12 games in his career), and he’s sitting on a three-game goal streak right now. I don’t know that he will get another tally (anytime +275), but I could see him stepping up against a close-to-home crowd, so keep an eye on his shot line (1.5, -200) and his line to get a point (-130).
- Your usual Auston Matthews heat check: -120 for an anytime goal.
- Lastly, if you’re feeling some Robertson goal magic: +450 for Nick, +190 for Jason, +1600 if you parlay them both.