Maple Leafs Looking to Respond in Game 2 After Brutal Loss to Lightning

Quinn Allen
By , Updated on: Apr 19, 2023 08:00 PM
Maple Leafs Looking to Respond in Game 2 After Brutal Loss to Lightning
  • What: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs - 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 2
  • Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
  • When: Thursday April 20th at 7:00 PM ET

The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs continue on Thursday evening with several different contests, but perhaps the most intriguing of the lot is Game 2 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The home team was booed off the ice on Tuesday after losing 7-3 to the Bolts in a truly embarrassing performance and will be biting at the bit to get back out there and respond. The puck drops at 7 PM ET at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Keep reading for the Lightning vs Maple Leafs Game 2 picks.

Before we get into the odds and prediction for Thursday's critical matchup, make sure to check out our online sportsbook reviews, and the top NHL betting sites.

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Odds

Tampa Bay Lightning+140+135+135
Toronto Maple Leafs-155-155-160

Despite the lopsided defeat in the series opener, the Maple Leafs are still a clear favorite in Game 2 with moneyline odds of -155. The Lightning comes back at +140.

Lightning Embarrass Leafs in Game 1

The biggest topic of conversation leading up to this series was if Toronto could finally end their horrific first-round playoff drought. Many believe the Leafs finally have what it takes to make a Stanley Cup run, but they failed miserably to live up to expectations on Tuesday. Instead, the Lightning dominated them.

Tampa Bay came out of the gates on fire and took an early 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to goals from Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. They quickly took all the energy out of Scotiabank Arena.

Toronto did come out in the second and attempted a comeback, cutting the deficit to one goal. Trade deadline acquisition Ryan O'Reilly fired home a rebound before William Nylander sniped one past arguably the best netminder in the world, Andrei Vasilevskiy.

However, the Bolts proceeded to score three unanswered, with Brayden Point netting a pair of his own. The Maple Leafs failed to make much noise in the third and now head into Game 2 in serious need of a win. One of the biggest issues for Toronto was penalties. Tampa scored four goals on the power play and had eight in total. The Leafs were one of the best penalty-kill teams in the NHL during the regular season and need to find that success again.

To be honest, that's the biggest factor for Toronto. If they can stay out of the penalty box, Sheldon Keefe's squad can even up the series. The big four of Nylander, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews all did their part in Game 1 with seven points combined, but in all honesty, Matthews must start scoring as well. The Maple Leafs rely on their star player.

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Game 2 Picks

I can't stress this enough. Staying out of penalty trouble is absolutely crucial for Toronto. After such a lifeless performance though, I do expect the Leafs to bounce back and give their fans something to cheer about. Take the moneyline.

Toronto Maple Leafs Moneyline vs Tampa Bay Lightning

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...

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