Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Preview – Game 5 (Thursday)

maple leafs canadiens

The NHL is back in action Thursday night with a pair of potential elimination games, starting with the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto holds a 3-1 edge in the series, shutting out the Canadiens 4-0 in Montreal in Game Four.

Thursday’s puck drop is at 7:00 P.M. Eastern on NBCSN. The Maple Leafs are heavy favorites at home at -235 while the road Canadiens are +197.

Montreal Canadiens Preview

The Canadiens have struggled to put the puck in the net in the playoffs, worsening a trend that started in the regular season. Of the 16 playoff teams, Montreal scored the third-fewest goals per game (2.82) entering postseason play.

It gets worse when Montreal’s star power has disappeared entirely. The club’s two leading regular-season goal scorers, Tyler Toffoli (28 goals) and Josh Anderson (17 goals), have yet to light the lamp in the playoffs. Nick Suzuki is the only one of Montreal’s top 11 regular-season goal scorers with a playoff goal.

With the scoring at such a premium, Montreal’s goaltending must be lights-out to have a chance on Monday. Carey Price has played reasonably well in the playoffs, putting up a 2.58 GAA and a .920 save percentage. However, no matter how good the goaltending is, teams have to score to win.

Artturi Lehkonen did not travel with the team for Game Five while dealing with an undisclosed injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs Preview

Toronto simply needs to keep things rolling in Game Five to take the series and advance to the second round. The Maple Leafs have outscored Montreal 11-2 over the past three games, getting solid contributions from everyone on the roster.

While stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner each have three points in the series, William Nylander is leading the way. Nylander has scored a goal in each of the first four games of the series. If he scores in Game Five, he will tie a Maple Leafs franchise record playoff goal-scoring streak.

So far in the playoffs, seven Toronto skaters have three or more points, and 14 skaters have at least one point.

Jack Campbell has been stellar in his postseason debut. The six-year NHL vet leads all playoff goaltenders in GAA (1.01) and save percentage (.965). Even with usual starter Frederik Andersen healthy and ready to go, Campbell has taken his game to the next level and looks ready to lead the Leafs through a deep playoff run.

Toronto will still be without captain John Tavares for Game Five as he continues to recover from the concussion he suffered in Game One. Nick Foligno will miss Game Five as well, though both were on the ice practicing separately from the rest of the team ahead of Thursday’s morning skate.

On to the Pick

Montreal has not shown enough offensively in this series to make a Game Five win seem likely, let alone a full comeback to win the series. Scoring one goal a game is simply not a recipe for playoff success.

Because of the offensive disparities, the play here is to take the Maple Leafs -1.5 goals at +115, winning Thursday night and taking the series.

FREE PICK: Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 goals (+115)


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