Maple Leafs vs Lightning NHL 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs preview, predictions, more

Maple Leafs Lightning playoffs preview
Steven Stamkos (left) defended by Auston Matthews. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference: Atlantic #2 Maple Leafs vs. Atlantic #3 Lightning

How To Watch

Game Date Time (ET) Host TV
1 Monday, May 2 7:30 p.m. TOR ESPN2
2 Wednesday, May 4 7:30 p.m. TOR ESPN2
3 Friday, May 6 7:30 p.m. TBL TBS
4 Sunday, May 8 7 p.m. TBL TBS
5* TBD
6* TBD
7* TBD

*If necessary

Tale of the Tape

Maple Leafs STAT Lightning
54-21-7 (106 pts) Record 51-23-8 (106 pts)
3.85 (2nd) Goals Per Game 3.52 (7th)
3.11 (19) Goals Allowed Per Game 2.81 (6th)
+62 Goal Differential +54
31-8-2 Home, 23-13-5 Away Home/Away Record 27-8-6 Home, 24-15-2 Away
27.19% (1st) Power Play 23.64% (9th)
82.4% (7th) Penalty Kill 80.88% (12th)

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Toronto leaders

Matthews Marner Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
  • Auston Matthews, C:  60 goals, 46 assists, 106 points, 16 power-play goals
  • Mitch Marner, RW: 35 goals, 62 assists, 97 points
  • William Nylander, C:  34 goals, 46 assists, 80 points, 13 power-play goals

Tampa Bay leaders:

Lightning Kucherov Hedman Stamkos
Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, and Steve Stamkos (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
  • Steven Stamkos, C: 42 goals, 64 assists, 106 points, 16 power-play goals
  • Victor Hedman, D: 20 goals, 65 assists, 85 points, 25:05 TOI
  • Nikita Kucherov, RW: 25 goals, 44 assists, 69 points in 47 games
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy, G: 39-18-5, 2.49 GAA, .916 SV%

Series Odds

  • TOR to win: -120
  • TBL to win: +100

*Courtesy of DraftKings, for more, click here.

Series Prediction

Lightning win in 7 games (4-3)

  • These two division rivals were as even as could be during the regular season, splitting a four-game set 2-2 with the Maple Leafs outscoring Tampa 16-12.
  • Toronto’s offense is the best in hockey by an overwhelming margin given its embarrassment of riches when it comes to attacking talent. Matthews, Marner, Nylander, and John Tavares all are capable of taking a game over.
  • Tampa Bay is no slouch, though, as Stamkos continues his resurgence as an elite playmaker. While Hedman is consistently the best defenseman in the NHL at either end of the ice, the return of Kucherov has helped bring Tampa’s offense to another level during the second half of the season.
  • Because of the Lightning’s recent pedigree as two-time defending Stanley Cup champions — and considering the Maple Leafs appear to be snakebitten in the postseason (no Stanley Cup in 54 years, no playoff series win in 16 years) — they have the mettle and defense to stymie Toronto.

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