- What: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. NY Islanders
- Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2023
- Location: UBS Arena in Elmont, New York
- How to Watch: ESPN+, hulu, TVAS, TSN4
Tonight, two of the top teams in the NHL’s Eastern Conference meet on Long Island. In that matchup, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who look like a lock to make the 2023 NHL playoffs, face the NY Islanders, who need every point they can get as the 2023 NHL season heads toward its conclusion.
Toronto enters this game as the No. 2 team in the NHL’s Atlantic Division with 93 points, thanks to the team’s 42-18-9 record. It’s unlikely that the Leafs will catch the Atlantic-leading Boston Bruins in the standings (111 points), still Toronto would like to put some distance between itself and the No. 3 team in the Division, the Tampa Bay Lightning (90 points). Toronto enters tonight’s NHL action with a 17-11-4 road record. The club is 6-3-1 in its past 10 games.
New York is currently at the top of the Eastern Conference wild card race with a 36-27-8 record. The team’s 80 points are two more than the Pittsburgh Penguins and three more than the Florida Panthers. With that, the Islanders making the 2023 NHL playoffs is not a foregone conclusion. The Islanders enter their matchup against the Maple Leafs with a 20-12-3 home record and like Toronto, they are 6-3-1 in their 10 most recent games.
Before we look at the betting breakdown for tonight’s NHL Eastern Conference matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NY Islanders, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. NY Islanders picks for March 21, 2023
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-120||-120||-125|
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 avoided that fate once again last week when it ended a two-game losing skid with a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Leafs enter tonight’s game with two straight wins after defeating the Ottawa Senators on the road on Saturday 5-4 in OT.
Mitch Marner leads the Leafs in scoring with 89 points and 63 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 (32) 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 24-8-3 with a GAA of 2.35 and a .917 SV %. Meanwhile, Murray is 13-7-2 with a 2.96 GAA and a .905 SV %.
Marner is the hottest player of these two clubs with 10 points, three goals and seven assists, in his past five games.
NY Islanders breakdown
The New York Islanders are sitting in the No. 4 spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders trail the No. 3 Rangers by 12 points. With 11 games left in the Islanders season, it is unlikely they will catch the Rangers. If the Isles hope to make the 2023 NHL postseason, they need to secure as many points as possible and earn to earn a wild card berth. New York enters tonight’s game with road wins in its past two games.
The Islanders scoring leader is Brock Nelson with 65 points. Nelson’s 30 goals also lead the team. Matthew Barazl, who has the most assists on the club with 37, has the second most points for the Islanders with 51. Unfortunately for the Islanders, Barzal will be out for the foreseeable future. The 25-year-old center suffered a lower-body injury against the Bruins on February 18 when Craig Smith hit him on what appeared to be a knee-on-knee hit. The Islanders are 8-3-1 with Brazal out of the lineup. After Brazal, Anders Lee has the third most points on the club with 46 (26 goals, 20 assists).
New York will miss Brazal, but the team was hopeful that trade acquisition Bo Horvat would help on offense. Horvat has struggled in his past six games, putting up a single assist in that time. He had 49 points in 54 games with Vancouver before he was traded to the Isles.
The Islanders have one of the best goalies in the league in Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin has quietly put together a 25-19-6 record with a goals against average of 2.37 and a save percentage of .925.
Best bet for Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Islanders
This is the third meeting between these clubs for the 2023 NHL season. The Isles downed the Leafs 3-2 in OT in Toronto in November. In the second meeting, it was the Leafs winning 5-2 at home.
With the way Mitch Marner is dishing the puck to his Maple Leaf mates, the best bet is to pick the Maple Leafs to down the NY Islanders tonight in Long Island.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs to beat the NY Islanders.
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