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Maple Leafs vs. Bruins 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds & Game 5 Preview

By Hank Blaine

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL, and that’s very likely to continue with the Leafs down 3-1 in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Bruins and underdogs for Game 5 in Boston on Tuesday. Will Toronto star Auston Matthews play through an illness?

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 Information

Why Bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Toronto just isn’t scoring enough in the series, with seven total goals following its 3-1 home loss to Boston in Game 4, which saw Leafs star and regular-season goal scoring champion Auston Matthews leave in the third period with an illness and not return. Matthews had played through the sickness in Game 3 — which the Leafs lost 4-2 — and battled it again in Game 4 until Toronto’s team doctors pulled him out of action for the final frame. There’s no guarantee Matthews will be well enough to dress for Game 5.

“We thought the last couple of days would help us,” coach Sheldon Keefe said after Toronto’s team meeting Sunday. “But, for whatever reason, it’s not one of those run-of-the-mill type of illnesses that sort of comes and goes. This one has lingered, and the effects have lingered and gotten worse when he’s got on the ice and is asserting himself.”

Matthews was unable to practice Monday. The American has produced points in just one of his last six appearances, though he racked up one goal and two helpers in that contest. If Matthews can’t go Tuesday, John Tavares could be given the first-line center role while Max Domi would likely move up to the No. 1 power-play unit. It is widely expected that Keefe will be fired if the Leafs are eliminated in Round 1.

Mitchell Marner had the lone Toronto goal in Game 4, snapping a five-game goals drought with his third-period marker. He’s picked up just two points with seven shots on net, six hits and a plus-1 rating over four playoff contests, which is not enough production from one of the team’s core players.

Ilya Samsonov allowed three goals on 17 shots in Saturday’s loss. Samsonov lasted two periods before Keefe turned to Joseph Woll for the third. Woll stopped all five shots he faced, though the Bruins didn’t apply much pressure while protecting a lead. Samsonov has gone 1-3 with 12 goals allowed over four playoff contests so far, so it’s fair to question how much longer he’ll be the starter with the Maple Leafs entering must-win mode. Decent chance that Woll starts Tuesday as Keefe declined to name a starting goalie after Game 4.

Why Bet on the Boston Bruins?

Boston’s Brad Marchand had a goal and assist in Game 4 and became the fourth Bruins skater in the past 30 years to record the game-winning goal in consecutive playoff games, the others: Daniel Paille (two in 2013), David Krejci (three in 2011) and Joe Thornton (two in 1999).

Marchand set the Bruins record for career Stanley Cup playoff goals, passing Cam Neely with his 56th when he made it 2-0 on the power play at 8:20 of the second period. He one-timed a pass from Charlie McAvoy below the right face-off dot. The 35-year-old Marchand has been the story of the series so far, racking up three goals, five assists, 14 shots on net, 11 hits and a plus-2 rating through four contests. He also joined Ray Bourque (46) as the second player in Bruins history with 40 multi-point games in the playoffs.

“He was outstanding the last two games here,” Boston forward David Pastrnak said. “He creates so much for our team, not only the production that is coming right now last couple games for him, but he’s all over the ice. He’s killing (penalties) for us, he’s playing big minutes. … He’s our captain and he definitely led us the right way the last two games, and it’s easy to follow when your captain is doing that.”

Pastrnak scored his 37th career playoff goal in the win and passed Bourque for sole possession of ninth most in Bruins history. Pastrnak has two goals and two assists through four outings in the first round. His tally Saturday was a back-breaker for Toronto, as it came with 42 seconds left in the second period to put Boston up 3-0.

Jeremy Swayman stopped 24 of 25 shots in the win. Swayman has all three of the Bruins’ victories so far in the playoffs, having allowed just four goals on 91 shots in his three starts. He started consecutive contests for the first time since February 19-21, and it looks like he’s now the Bruins’ preferred starter to Linus Ullmark. The Bruins have won seven of eight against the Maple Leafs this season, including the playoffs.

“What went into the decision (to play Swayman again over Linus Ullmark) was we rotated the first two games and then Swayman played so well, we were going to go with the hot hand,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said.

Maple Leafs vs. Bruins Betting Trends

  • Toronto is 1-7 SU in the last 8 games.
  • The Maple Leafs are 1-10 SU in its last 11 games against Boston.
  • The total went over in 6 of Toronto’s last 9 games.
  • Boston is 8-4 SU in the last 12 games.
  • The Bruins are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Toronto.
  • The total went under in 10 of Boston’s last 13 games.

Maple Leafs vs. Bruins 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 Expert Betting Predictions

The Bruins should get the win in Game 5 on Tuesday night to end the series and head into the next round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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