The Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2-0, 6 points) are headed to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Capitals (1-2-1, 3 points) in an Eastern Conference clash. Toronto is coming off a 4-3 road win at Tampa to end a short two-game slide. Washington has lost two straight after dropping a 3-2 decision at Montreal.
The Leafs have opened as a -165 road favorite with a total of 6.5 over -115. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6:00 pm ET / 3:00 pm PT and can be seen on TSN4 and ESPN+. We start our Maple Leafs vs Capitals odds preview with a deeper look at Toronto from a betting perspective.
Toronto’s Winning But Goaltending Is A Question Mark
The Leafs have won three of four games this NHL season, but in all of their wins, they’ve had to outscore a lackluster performance between the pipes. Overall numbers through five games show Toronto with the sixth-worst goals-against-average of 3.80.
Goaltending seems to be a constant issue for the Leafs, but this year’s version was created when IIya Samsonov started the year with a less-than-sparkling .831 save percentage after allowing 14 goals in his four starts.
We expect back-up Joseph Woll to get the start in this one after playing well against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Woll owns a save percentage of .949 after making 29 saves against the Lighting in relief of Samsonov, who gave up three goals on four shots.
Toronto came back to win 4-3 in overtime, but that doesn’t mask the glaring weakness that plagued Toronto early on. If Woll plays well against the Caps, there could be a changing of the guard for Sheldon Keefe’s team. We know Toronto isn’t a reliable wager in the postseason, but the regular season has been a different story in recent years, compiling a 138-81 record (.630) since 2021. In that span, Toronto bettors have profited just 4.58 units, but at least the public knew they had a shot to cash a winner despite having to deal with high money lines, especially at home.
Tonight’s NHL odds show the Leafs as an inflated road favorite once again, we’re not sure how anyone can buy into a team that owns an .880 save percentage, but you can bet there will be plenty. We continue our Maple Leafs vs Capitals odds preview by transitioning to the Capitals.
Capitals Focus On Defense
Things aren’t great for Toronto, it’s worse in Washington after the Caps dropped both games on a short Canadian trip to Ottawa (6-1) and Montreal (3-2), pushing Washington to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings. Head Coach Spencer Carberry immediately changed his defensive pairing, splitting up Rasmus Sandin and John Carlson.
Martin Fehervary was moved to skate alongside Carlson, who seems to be more comfortable. We’ll see if the changes pay off, but we’ve been handicapping this league long enough to anticipate a better defensive effort from Washington. It seems every time a coach targets a particular group, the effort and results improve, if only for a few games.
Darcy Kuemper is the listed starter for Washington after dropping his second straight decision in overtime against Montreal, 3-2. In his three starts, the former Stanley Cup champion has had to make over 25 saves once (38 saves vs Calgary), you can bet Kuemper will see plenty of action Tuesday, no matter how many changes the Caps make on the blue line.
The Caps NHL team stats are better than Toronto’s by a smidge when it comes to goaltending, but that has more to do with leaving their goaltenders out to dry rather than issue with Kuemper or Charlie Lindgren. We conclude our Maple Leafs vs Capitals odds preview with our official selection.
Capitals To Get Much-Needed Victory
We have always been partial to the teams whose goaltending has been strong, something that does not describe the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Capitals seem to think it is an issue with their pairings in front of Kuemper, so we’ll trust the adjustment made by Carberry until we see different. Take Washington and the generous plus-money NHL odds.
That concludes our Maple Leafs vs Capitals odds preview, we wish you nothing but the best with your wagers.