- What: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Date: Friday, March 17, 2023
- Location: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: NHL Network, TVAS, TSN4, BSSO
Two of the top teams in the NHL’s Eastern Conference meet for the second time during the 2023 NHL season tonight, when the Carolina Hurricanes travel to Canada to face the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Hurricanes are the No. 1 team in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division with 96 points. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are in second place in the Atlantic Division with 89 points. With the standings as they are today, both the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs look like they will make the 2023 NHL Playoffs.
Carolina brings the third-best road record in the NHL for the 2023 season into tonight’s game at Scotiabank Arena. The Hurricanes are 20-6-6 in away games this year. However, the team was shut out in its last game on the road, getting blanked by the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. The Hurricanes bounced back from that loss with a 5-3 home win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Carolina has a 44-14-8 record overall and the team is 6-4-0 in its past 10 outings.
While Carolina has an outstanding road record, the Maple Leafs are equally good at home, with the third-best record while playing in their own barn. Toronto is 24-7-5 at Scotiabank Arena this year. However, two of those losses have come in the team’s past two games. The Leafs dropped a 4-3 contest to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday and the Colorado Avalanche defeated them 2-1 in a shootout on Wednesday. Toronto has a 40-18-9 overall record and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
Before we look at the betting breakdown for tonight’s NHL Eastern Conference matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs picks for March 17, 2023
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Carolina Hurricanes breakdown
The Hurricanes have been fantastic since the middle of January. The team ended a four-game losing skid on January 10. Since then, Carolina has a record of 19-5-1. During that time, the ‘Canes have put together winning streaks of seven, five and four games while never losing more than two in a row.
Martin Necas leads the Hurricanes in scoring with 61 points. Sebastian Aho is the team leader in goals (27), while Brent Burns leads the club in assists with 39. Carolina has three players who have scored 20 or more goals this season in Necas, Aho and Andrei Svechnikov.
Carolina has an outstanding goal tending tandem in Antti Raanta and Frederick Andersen. However, Raanta is out right now with a lower-body injury. Despite that, the Hurricanes have a capable backup for Andersen in Pyotr Kochetkov, who has 21 NHL games under his belt in 2023. Andersen has a 2.41 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. Meanwhile, Kochetkov’s numbers are even better with a 2.25 GAA and a .915 SV%.
Toronto Maple Leafs breakdown
The Maple Leafs have played well this year, but they have not been a team that goes on long winning streaks. Meanwhile, the Leafs have not lost more than two games in a row since they lost four in a row — all on the road — in late October. Toronto looks to avoid losing three in a row tonight when the team faces the Hurricanes at home.
Mitch Marner leads the Leafs in scoring with 86 points and 62 assists. William Nylander is the team’s leading goal-scorer with 35. Toronto has three players with 30 or more goals this year in Nylander, Auston Matthews (31) and John Tavares (30).
While the Leafs have not named a No. 1 goaltender this year, Ilya Samsonov has played better — and more — than Matt Murrray this year. Samsonov is 23-8-3 with a GAA of 2.36 and a .916 SV %. Meanwhile, Murray is 12-7-2 with a 2.92 GAA and a .903 SV %.
Marner is the hottest player of these two clubs with nine points, 2 goals and 7 assists, in his past five games.
Best bet for Carolina Hurricanes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Hurricanes had not been shut out since November 23. With that, the team’s back-to-back shutout losses over the weekend were a surprise. However, the team righted the ship on Tuesday with a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. That victory should give them confidence heading into tonight’s game.
On the other side of the ledger, the Leafs are riding their first two-game home losing skid since early January. The team they played to end that slide was the Detroit Red Wings. The Hurricanes are much better than the Wings.
The best bet in this game is to go with the value pick and that is the underdog Carolina Hurricanes.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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