- The Florida Panthers enter the second round of the 2023 NHL playoffs coming off a seven-game series win over the President Trophy-winning Boston Bruins.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs, with their first-round postseason win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, are in the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2004.
- The Maple Leafs finished the 2023 NHL regular season with a 3-1 record against the Florida Panthers. Three of those games went to overtime.
The Florida Panthers entered the 2023 NHL playoffs as a wild card team. The club had a 2023 NHL regular season record of 42-32-8. Florida was matched against the record-setting Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2023 NHL postseason. Boston finished in first place in the Eastern Conference, won the Presidents’ Trophy, and set NHL records for most wins and most points in the league’s history with 135 points. On Sunday, the Panthers moved on to the second round of the 2023 NHL Eastern Conference playoffs with a 4-3 OT win over the Bruins, closing the series in seven games.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were 50-21-11 in the regular season, which got them matched up against the team who represented the Eastern Conference in the past three Stanley Cup Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who had a 46-30-6 mark in the regular season. The Leafs ended a long drought of not getting past the first round of the NHL playoffs when they defeated the Lightning 2-1 in overtime in Game 6 of that series.
Before we look at the second-round matchup of the 2023 NHL Eastern Conference playoffs between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs betting picks for NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Series
|To Win Rd. 2 of NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Series
|Toronto Maple Leafs
Florida Panthers betting breakdown
The Florida Panthers finished the 2023 NHL season with a 23-13-5 home record and a 19-19-3 road number. Florida finished the season strong, going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. The Panthers enter the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs with some momentum. Having fallen behind the Bruins 3-1 in the first four games of the series, Florida battled back, picking up two overtime wins to send the Bruins home.
Matthew Tkachuk, who the Panthers picked up in a trade before the 2023 NHL season began, had a career season in his first year with the team. The 25-year-old was the Panthers’ scoring leader with 109 points. Tkachuk is also the team’s leading scorer in the 2023 NHL playoffs. He has 11 points to go with his team-leading five goals. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky played the final four games of the Boston series. He posted a 3-1 record, to go with a 3.94 goals against average and a .891 save percentage.
Florida’s power play operated at a 25 percent clip during the series against the Bruins, and the team’s penalty kill had an efficiency of 59.3 percent. The Panthers’ PP was in the middle of the pack for the first round, but the team’s PK was third worst in the NHL.
Toronto Maple Leafs betting breakdown
The Maple Leafs entered the 2023 NHL playoffs with a 27-8-6 home record and a 23-13-5 mark on the road. Toronto wrapped up the 2023 NHL regular season with a 7-1-2 record in its final 10 games.
Mitch Marner finished the season with a career-high 99 points to lead the Maple Leafs in scoring for the 2023 campaign. William Nylander and Auston Matthews tied for the team’s leader in goals with 40. Marner leads the Maple Leafs in postseason scoring with 11 points. Meanwhile, Matthews is the team’s leading goal-scorer with five markers during the series against the Lightning. Ilya Samsonov was the goalie of record for the Leafs’ first-round series. He posted a 3.14 goals against average and a .900 save percentage against the Lightning.
The Maple Leafs power play operated at 28.6 percent during the first round of the 2023 NHL playoffs. Meanwhile, the club’s penalty kill was 76.2 percent.
The last time the Maple Leafs made it past the first round of the NHL playoffs was 2004. They lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals that year.
Panthers vs. Maple Leafs Playoff Series Schedule
- Game 1: Tuesday, May 2: 7 p.m., Florida at Toronto (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
- Game 2: Thursday, May 4: TBD, Florida at Toronto (TBD)
- Game 3: TBD
- Game 4: TBD
- Game 5: TBD*
- Game 6: TBD*
- Game 7: TBD*
Best bets for the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Florida Panthers Playoff Series
Expect the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers to play loose in the early going of this 2023 NHL Eastern Conference playoff series. That might change as the series progresses, but both teams have confidence and momentum heading into this series. The best bet is to pick the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the series. The reason behind that pick is because the Leafs have the more dangerous offense and the better goaltending.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs to beat Florida Panthers in six games and move on to the 2023 NHL Eastern Conference Finals.
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