Mon, Mar 29, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Edmonton Oilers (21-13-1, 43 points) visit the Toronto Maple Leafs (22-10-2, 46 points) on Monday, March 29, at 7 PM ET in a North Division contest at the Scotiabank Arena.
The Maple Leafs currently sit atop the North Division, while the Oilers are in third place. Edmonton is just one point out of second and three points out of first.
Toronto has won three games in a row, while Edmonton lost its last game played. The Maple Leafs are just 4-6-0 in the last 10 games, and the Oilers are 7-2-1.
The Oilers and Maple Leafs split the first four games of this regular-season series, but Toronto has won the last four in a row.
The last game played for both of these teams occurred against each other. It was a 4-3 victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime thanks to Auston Matthews’ game-winner.
“I’m going to take that, for sure,” Matthews said. “It’s frustrating when the puck’s not going in, but as long as I’m getting chances, I just try to stay positive and continue to push and shoot the puck and continue to think, ‘The next one’s going in, the next one’s going in.’ Not really how I drew it up or ever envisioned it, but I’ll take that.”
The game-winning goal from Matthews put him in the lead for goals scored in the NHL ahead of Connor McDavid. Toronto goalie Jack Campbell stopped 17 shots in the winning effort. Campbell (6-0-0) will sit out tonight as a precaution due to a lower-body injury. Michael Hutchinson will be in the net for Toronto.
“It’s what we’ve talked about previously; we have to really smart with how we manage Jack’s workload,” Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “The reality is he hasn’t been playing at 100%, and the games take a toll on him. It’s a combination of him not being used to playing multiple games in a row, and his body hasn’t quite co-operated the way he’d like it to through this season.
“He wasn’t feeling the best coming off of (Saturday), a little better today, and that’s positive, but us continuing to roll him out there when he’s not 100% is not smart.”
The Oilers were led by Leon Draisaitl, who had a goal and two assists in the loss.
“It’s a good team,” Draisaitl said. “We’re a really good team. It’s always tight games.”
It was the first game since March 20 for the Oilers, who had a trio of games against the Montreal Canadiens postponed due to league COVID protocols.
“Our energy was all right,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “Our execution was poor.”
Before the loss to the Maple Leafs, the Oilers had won three in a row.
The win for Toronto marked the third straight. In those three wins, the Maple Leafs outscored their opponents 9-5, including a shutout over the Calgary Flames.
There aren’t many players on the injury list for tonight’s game; however, Toronto will be without Rasmus Sandin (foot), while Frederik Andersen is day-to-day (lower body).
The Oilers are without Alex Stalock (health protocols).
Toronto is -1.5-point favorites against Edmonton in this North Division tilt. The Maple Leafs have dominated the regular-season series against the Oilers 6-2. Place your wager on the Maple Leafs at -1.5 over the Oilers tonight.