NHL Predictions: April 23rd, Including Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers
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Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers.

NHL Predictions With Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers

Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators

Head-to-Head: Canadiens 2 – 1 Senators

As the regular season comes to a close, fans of the Canadiens and Senators will be treated to the final installment between these clubs. The Canadiens took the first two games before the Senators replied with a convincing 6-3 win a few weeks ago. The Sens are coming off a back-to-back, so fatigue may play a factor here.

Both clubs have massively underperformed this year but there is a ton of optimism for the future, especially for Ottawa. Right now the Eastern Conference is pretty much split down the middle in terms of contenders. But if there was a team with the ability to crack the top eight before any other of the bottom eight teams, it’s probably this Senators team. There are some great pieces there and they’ve seen positive growth from their young players.

Montreal’s offence is drying up during this seven-game losing skid. The Canadiens have only mustered 12 goals during that span and their leading scorer over the last five games is defenceman Jeff Petry. Petry comes into this game with three points in their last five.

Prediction: Senators win 4-2

Nashville Predators vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Head-to-Head: Predators 0 – 1 Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning are putting the finishing touches on another successful regular season. The back-to-back Stanley Cup champions had a convincing win against probable first-round opponent, Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1. And now they will look to keep the well-oiled machine running against playoff hopefuls, the Nashville Predators.

Nashville has all but secured one of the two Wild Card spots in the west. A win here will just about lock that spot in, so expect a big game out of the Predators. Star winger, Filip Forsberg will look to build off the goal he scored last game and get rolling in the scoring department again. Prior to the Pred’s last game, Forsberg had only scored once in their last nine games.

Prediction: Lightning win 3-2 OT

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers

Head-to-Head: Leafs 1 – 1 Panthers

The last time these two teams met us fans were treated to an absolute goal-fest! 7-6, the Panthers came away with the win after trailing 5-1 in the second period.

Hopefully, we can expect more of the same tonight. The Leafs will certainly like to put forth a better effort this evening after the Lightning embarrassed them 8-1. Not a good look when that is your probable first-round opponent. Given, the Leafs didn’t have Auston Matthews, but they will tonight.

Florida has officially clinched the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage through the East, should they make it to the Final. The Panthers are dialed in as they approach the playoffs, and that’s scary for any team facing them. Florida is sporting a season-high, 12-game winning streak. That’s the kind of streak you want to see heading into the playoffs.

Plenty of confidence in that Panthers dressing room.

Prediction: Panthers 5-4 OT

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