7:40 pm
May 2

Lightning @ Maple Leafs

Who will WIN this matchup?

Tampa Bay Lightning (51-23-8)

@ Toronto Maple Leafs (54-21-7)


Starting Goalies:

Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB): Likely

Jack Campbell (TOR): Confirmed


Current odds:

Tampa Bay Lightning: (+106)

Toronto Maple Leafs: (-127)


The Tampa Bay Lightning begin the quest for their third straight Stanley Cup when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night to open a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, will be trying to win a first-round series for the first time since 2004. They have not won the Stanley Cup since 1967. Last year, Toronto lost a seventh game at home to the Montreal Canadiens after building a 3-1 lead in the series.

This is the first time the Lightning have faced the Maple Leafs in the playoffs. They were 2-1-1 against Toronto in the regular season.

The Maple Leafs have the home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven series, with Game 2 in Toronto on Wednesday.

The Lightning defeated the Maple Leafs 8-1 on April 21 in Tampa, but Toronto was without top scorer Auston Matthews and No. 1 goaltender Jack Campbell.

Matthews had a hat trick in Toronto’s 6-2 win over the Lightning on April 4 in Tampa.

On Tuesday, Matthews became the first NHL player to reach 60 goals in a season since Stamkos did it for the Lightning in 2011-12. Matthews finished the season with 106 points and linemate Mitchell Marner had 97 points.

Stamkos finished the regular season with a franchise-record 10th career hat trick Friday against the New York Islanders. He finished the season with 42 goals and 106 points. Stamkos had 26 points over his final nine games. His 33 points in April were the most by a Lightning player in a calendar month and the most by any NHL player since Mario Lemieux had 34 in December 1995.

Goaltending will be a key to the series. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a mainstay for the Lightning in their Cup runs. “We know we’re going to have a chance to win every night,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. “(Vasilevskiy) has shown in the postseason the competitor he is, and the bigger the games, it feels like he just gets better.” Campbell’s NHL playoff experience is limited to the seven games in last season’s loss to the Canadiens.

StreakSmarter Pick
Tampa Bay Lightning