by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Throwing backup goalie Michael Hutchinson into the breach should not overly threaten the Toronto Maple Leafs’ delicate balance where they have been earning wins without lighting up the scoreboard. The Maple Leafs are -155 away favorites and the Calgary Flames are +135 underdogs with a 6.0-goal total on the NHL odds for Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The head-to-head matchup is split 5-5 over the last 10 meetings, and 10 of the last 16 Toronto-Calgary games have finished UNDER at sports betting sites. The teams also play again on Monday. Toronto is 13-7 in its last 20 games when it was on the front end of a back-to-back, with an even 10-10 split on the totals. Calgary is 5-9 in its last 14 games when it was also playing the next day, with the OVER hitting in eight of the 11 such matchups.
Maple Leafs vs Flames | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Maple Leafs lead the season series 4-2 and have a 10-8 edge over the Flames in five-on-five goals. Toronto, per Natural Stat Trick, holds the edge in expected-goals percentage, of xGF% (56.0) and has had the bulk of the scoring chances (also 56.0) and high-danger chances (59.9). Head-to-head, the Maple Leafs are two-for-24 on the power play and the Flames are five-for-21. (All advanced stats are based on score- and venue-adjusted five-on-five play.)
The Maple Leafs are 24-10-3, and are 5-0-1 over their last six games. Toronto is playing like the best defense is a strong offense. Led by the Auston Matthews-Zach Hyman-Mitchell Marner first line, Toronto is on a seven-game run with an xGF% above 58.0, but the total has gone UNDER in six of those contests. Matthews is coming off an eight-shot, no-goal game during a 2-1 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, and the John Tavares-Alex Galchenyuk-William Nylander line will be seeking a bounce-back effort. Toronto’s power play is the worst in the NHL over the last 30 days, but the Maple Leafs are 9-2-1 in away games with a single day of rest.
Since March 5, Toronto ranks second in the 31-team NHL in both xGF% (60.2), scoring-chances share (60.3) and high-danger chances share (61.9). But the Maple Leafs are 14th in goal scoring (2.67 per game) and 17th in goals against (2.83). Their power play ranks 31st (3.5 percent) and their penalty killing ranks 26th (73.3).
Hutchinson, who is 3-2-1 with a 2.49 GAA and .915 save percentage, is confirmed as Toronto’s starting goaltender. In his career, Hutchinson is 3-4-0 with a 2.96 GAA and .906 save percentage in seven career games against Calgary.
The Flames, who are 16-19-3, have just one win in their last seven starts and are also 5-6-0 this season when playing at home with a single day of rest. Calgary had the run of play during a 3-2 defeat against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, with both the Sean Monahan-Johnny Gaudreau-Brett Ritchie and Elias Lindholm-Matthew Tkachuk-Dillon Dube lines on the plus side in offense generated. Calgary’s grinding style, augmented by the Rasmus Andersson-Mark Giordano defense pair, can lead to offense being at a premium for both teams. Since March 5, per Natural Stat Trick, the Flames are the only team in the top five at limiting high-danger chances, while being in the bottom five at generating them.
Calgary ranks 10th in xGF% (52.3), 12th in scoring-chance share (52.3) and 14th in high-danger chances share (50.8) over the last 30 days. The Flames are 25th in goal scoring (2.29 per game) and 23rd in goals against (2.93). Their power play ranks 17th (17.8 percent) and their penalty killing ranks 16th (82.5).
Jacob Markstrom, who is 12-13-2 with a 2.94 GAA and .901 save percentage, is having a mediocre season with 7.9 more goals saved than expected, according to MoneyPuck. Backup David Rittich has started only twice in the last four weeks, but has a 1.35 GAA and .962 save percentage in three games this season against Toronto.