by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
A return to form from Frederik Andersen might well be the tipping point as the Toronto Maple Leafs try to improve their underdog trend against a foe that struggles in interconference matchups.
The Maple Leafs are the +100 away underdog while the Nashville Predators are a -120 home favorite with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Monday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Maple Leafs, who limped into their eight-day bye week/all-star break, are 12-3 in their last 15 away games against the Central Division with the total finishing OVER 10 times at betting sites. But they are 2-7 in their last nine games as away underdogs with the total finishing OVER six times. The Predators are 5-11 in their last 16 home games against the Eastern Conference.
Maple Leafs at Predators | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Maple Leafs are 25-17-7 this season, but are only 1-4 in their last five games. The likes of center Auston Matthews and right wing Mitch Marner are continuing to generate offense for a team that is sixth in the 31-team NHL in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (52.7 percent), but preventing goals has been daunting of late amid injuries to defensemen Jake Muzzin (foot) and Morgan Rielly (foot). The Maple Leafs are fourth in goals scored (3.57 per game) and 27th in goals against (3.29). On special teams, the power play is ranked sixth (24.4 percent) but the penalty killing unit is ranked 25th (76.3).
Frederik Andersen, who has a 22-9-6 record this season with a 2.89 goals-against average and .909 save percentage, is likely to start in goal for Toronto. Andersen has a 4.12 GAA and .881 save percentage in seven games this month.
The Predators are 22-18-7 this season, but are only 5-9 in their last 14 games as a home favorite. Nashville, relying on an offense by committee that features center Matt Duchene and left wing Filip Forsberg, rates with Toronto in attacking at even strength, ranking seventh in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (52.3 percent). But, also like Toronto, defense has been an issue as the Predators rank eighth in goals scored (3.30 per game) and 23rd in goals against (3.21). On special teams, Nashville’s power play is ranked 24th (16.9 percent) but the penalty killing unit is ranked 29th (73.3).
Nashville’s No. 1 goalie, Pekka Rinne, has a 16-10-3 record with a 2.95 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Rinne has a 2.69 GAA and .914 save percentage so far in January.
The Maple Leafs complete their two-game road trip against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.