Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Rangers Matchup Pick & Preview 12/20/19

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Rangers Matchup Pick & Preview 12/20/19

Two clubs squaring off for the first time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers collide at Madison Square Garden. This Original Six matchup gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 20, and it’ll be showcased live on Sportsnet Ontario.

Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers Odds

New York (+150) is entering this one as the underdog to Toronto (-170) and oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 7 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -110 money on the over and -110 for the under.

Toronto is 17-18 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 18 of its matches have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2019-20 Maple Leafs team is 9-10 SU on the road.

Toronto has converted on 20.4 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. Its penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and it’s successfully killed off only 76.2 percent of all penalties.

For the team as a whole, Toronto has been penalized just 3.2 times per game overall during the 2019-20 season, and 2.2 per game over its last ten outings. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 4.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Boasting a .920 save percentage and 28.7 saves per game, Frederik Andersen (17-11-3) has been the top option in goal for Toronto this year. If head coach Sheldon Keefe chooses to rest him, however, Toronto might roll with Michael Hutchinson (0-7-1), who has a .876 save percentage and 4.55 goals against average this year.

Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Maple Leafs. Matthews (36 points) has tallied 21 goals and 15 assists, and has recorded two or more points 10 times. Marner has six goals and 20 assists to his name (and has registered at least one point in 16 games).

New York is 16-17 straight up (SU) and has earned 4.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. 20 of its contests have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and none have pushed. It’s 8-9 SU as the home team this year.

New York has converted on 19.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 25th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.7 percent of all opponent power plays.

New York skaters have been sent to the penalty box 4.5 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 7.6 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Henrik Lundqvist (31.1 saves per game) has been the top selection in goal for New York. Lundqvist has seven wins, 12 losses, and three OT losses to his name and has maintained a .912 save percentage and 3.13 goals against average this year.

Artemi Panarin (20 goals, 23 assists) will lead the attack for NY.

Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers Free Picks

Prediction: SU Winner – Rangers, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

For both of these teams, the over has hit in three of their past five matchups.

Toronto has attempted 33.4 shots per contest overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 29.4 in its last five road outings.

The Maple Leafs are 8-8 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Rangers are 7-8 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.

New York is 0-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Toronto is 1-2 in shootouts.

New York skaters have averaged 8.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 8.3 takeaways per game (ranked 10th in the league).

Toronto is ranked 19th in the league this season with 7.3 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher recently, as the team has averaged 8.0 takeaways over its last 10 games and 9.2 takeaways over its last five.

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