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Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers Game 4 Betting Preview

After waiting 19 seasons to get out of the first round, the Toronto Maple Leafs now find themselves on the brink of elimination facing a 3-0 series deficit against the Florida Panthers. Florida was in a similar position in the first round, trailing their series with Boston 3-1 before putting together their active six-game win streak.

Will Florida close things out on Wednesday, or will Toronto live to fight another day? Find out when the puck drops at 7:00 PM on ESPN.

Toronto’s Injuries Adding Up

Matthew Knies had Toronto rolling after getting called up from the University of Minnesota, bringing a needed spark to the roster. The 20-year-old winger immediately clicked in the Leafs’ lineup, scoring four points through his first six playoff games before being injured in his seventh. Knies has been ruled out for Game Four and may be done for the series should Toronto win and extend things.

However, the more pressing injury situation lies between the pipes. Ilya Samsonov was injured in Game Three leaving Joseph Woll to man the net. Woll stopped 18 of 21 shots in relief but still took the loss.

With their backs to the wall, Head coach Sheldon Keefe has decided to trust Woll to make his first playoff start in his career in a do-or-die situation rather than handing the reins to Matt Murray, who hasn’t played since April 4 against the Detroit Red Wings and who allowed six goals on 43 shots in two games against Florida this year.

It’s a gutsy call from an unenviable position, and if it backfires, the decision will be questioned for years to come.

Panthers Firing on All Cylinders


Florida has masterfully handled the Maple Leafs, in particular limiting the efforts of their star players. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander have combined for no goals and four assists through three games due in large part to the excellent defensive play of Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart, and Nick Cousins.

Additionally, the resurgence of Sergei Bobrovsky in keeping the Panthers around. After being out of the lineup since March 27, Bobrovsky gave up 17 goals in just over four games against Boston in the first round, but he’s allowed six goals total through the first three of this series, raising his playoff save percentage from .891 to .909.

Finally, Matthew Tkachuk has been the MVP of the Eastern Conference this postseason, further vindicating the massive trade Florida made to acquire him over the summer. Tkachuk has scored five goals and added 10 assists in 15 games while also ranking second among Panthers forwards in hits.

Odds and Pick

Despite being down 3-0 in the series, the Maple Leafs are moneyline favorites at -125 (Florida is +105 and playing at home). It’s difficult to sweep a series, but the way the Panthers have imposed their will so far this series, it’s hard to pick against them, especially at plus money and in their home building.

Expect the hostile Panthers crowd to make a difference and take Florida to complete the sweep Wednesday night.

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