Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#43 Toronto Maple Leafs vs.
#44 Edmonton Oilers
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
Rogers Place, Edmonton
Written by Chris Kubala

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#43 Toronto
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It’s an interconference matchup between a pair of teams from north of the border out in Alberta. The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the road as they make the trip to face the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night. Toronto was upended 4-2 on the road by Calgary Thursday night in their last game. Edmonton fell short 6-5 on the road to Minnesota Thursday night in their last game. The Maple Leafs have won the last six meetings between the teams, including a 3-2 road victory in the most recent matchup back on March 9, 2019.

Toronto Maple Leafs Look to Close Road Trip on Positive Note

Toronto dropped to 2-1 on their four-game trip that comes to a close here as they were dropped by Calgary Thursday night. The Maple Leafs entered Friday sixth in the Atlantic Division, two points behind Montreal for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 12 behind Boston for the division lead. Toronto is 11th in the league in scoring as they average 3.18 goals per game on the season. The Maple Leafs are 25th in goals against as they allow 3.21 goals per contest. Toronto is 14th in the league on the power play as they convert 19.8 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Maple Leafs are 25th in penalty killing as they successfully shut down 77.2 percent of their shorthanded situations on the year: they have three shorthanded goals.

Against the Flames, Toronto played two solid periods. Unfortunately, they wilted in the third period and ended up with the loss. The Maple Leafs held a 10-9 edge in shots in the opening period but the game was tied at one after 20 minutes. John Tavares opened the scoring with his 13th of the year at 8:24 off assists from Mitch Marner and Tyson Barrie. Toronto allowed the tying goal later in the period. In the second period, the Maple Leafs held a 13-8 edge in shots and scored the lone goal to take a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Marner scored his fifth of the year off an assist from Tavares and Cody Ceci at 14:06 of the period. The third period saw the Maple Leafs with an 11-7 edge in shots on goal but they were outscored 3-0 to end up with the loss. Toronto gave up those three goals in the opening 2:49 of the third period and couldn’t recover. Frederik Andersen made 20 saves in the loss for the Maple Leafs, who held a 34-24 edge in shots on goal in the game.

Edmonton Oilers Try to Get Back in Win Column

Edmonton suffered their third straight loss and their sixth in the last eight games as they were upended in Minnesota. The Oilers entered Friday two points behind the Coyotes in the Pacific Division race. Edmonton is tied for 14th in the league in scoring with an average of 3.03 goals per game this season. The Oilers are 18th in goals against as they give up 3.06 goals per contest. Edmonton is first in the league with the man advantage as they cash in 32 percent of their chances on the power play this season. The Oilers are 6th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully handle 84.8 percent of their shorthanded situations.

Against Minnesota, the offense was clicking but the defensive zone play was lacking and it cost them two points. The Oilers held a 9-7 edge in shots in the opening period but trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes of play. Oscar Klefbom scored his third of the season at the 8:00 mark to open the scoring off assists from Sam Gagner and James Neal. Edmonton gave up two unanswered goals to trail 2-1 after 20 minutes. The shots were even in the second period but the Oilers were outscored 2-1 to trail 4-2 after 40 minutes of action. Leon Draisaitl scored his 20th of the year at the 2:00 mark, on the power play, with assists going to Connor McDavid and Klefbom, to tie the game at two. Again, Edmonton gave up a pair of unanswered goals to trail 4-2 after 40 minutes. That set the stage for a wild third period of action.

In the final period, Edmonton held a 14-9 edge in shots and a 3-2 edge on the scoreboard but that left them a goal short on the scoreboard as time expired. Gaetan Haas made it a 4-3 game with his third of the year at 10:43 off an assist from Adam Larsson. McDavid scored his 20th of the year off assists from Ethan Bear and Darnell Nurse to tie the game at 12:49 of the period. The Oilers gave up a pair of goals to trail 6-4 before Neal scored his 15th of the year off assists from Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at 19:11 to make it a one-goal game. Edmonton pressed but couldn’t find the equalizer. Mike Smith made 20 saves in the loss for the Oilers, who held a 33-26 advantage in shots on goal.

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Matthews and the Maple Leafs have gotten the upper hand on McDavid and the Oilers in six straight meetings. The main reason for that is one simple thing when you get right down to it: depth. Toronto can roll three or four solid lines that can light the lamp and do damage on any given night. For Edmonton, the trio of McDavid, Draisaitl and Neal have combined for 55 of the team’s 103 goals this season. Being a one-line team is tough when you face the Maple Leafs. That gives Toronto the upper hand in this contest.

Prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs -125

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Toronto comes into this game 8-10-0 on the road on the year. The Maple Leafs have a -2 goal differential (62-60) and a +5 shot differential (598-593) on the road this season. That's a total of 122 goals on the road in their games or an average of 6.78 goals per game. Edmonton is 8-5-3 at home this season. The Oilers have been outscored by three (55-52) and outshot by 26 (500-474) in those contests. That is an average of 6.69 goals per game on home ice for Edmonton. Will we see similar fireworks here?

Toronto has seen the under go 8-1 in their last nine against Pacific Division teams and 10-4 in their last 14 against Western Conference foes. Edmonton has seen the under go 5-2 in their last seven against Eastern Conference teams. The Maple Leafs have been better defensively under Sheldon Keefe and that helps keep this one under the number slightly.

Prediction: Under 6.5

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Toronto has held the lead on the road after the opening period seven times in their 18 games this season. The Maple Leafs have been tied six times and trailed in five after 20 minutes on the year. Edmonton has held the lead seven times in their 16 home games after 20 minutes of action this season. The Oilers have been tied five times and trailed in four games after the first period. Toronto gets a slight nod here thanks to their depth and Edmonton's recent struggles.

Prediction: 1st Period Toronto Maple Leafs

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Toronto owns a +4 goal differential (21-17) on the road in the first period of games this season to go along with a +9 shot differential (205-196) in those games. The Maple Leafs have seen 38 goals on the board after 20 minutes of play in those games, or an average of 2.11 goals per game. Edmonton has a +3 goal differential (18-15) despite being outshot by 24 (172-148) in the first period at home this season. Those 33 goals average out to 2.06 goals per game in the opening 20 minutes of play on home ice. This one is over the mark after one period.

Prediction: 1st Period Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.