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Canadiens vs Maple Leafs Game 2 Odds and Picks

Chris Wassel

by Chris Wassel in NHL Hockey

May 21, 2021 · 5:20 PM PDT

Carey Price, Goaltender, Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Canadians goaltender Carey Price(31) makes a save on a shot from Toronto Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot(15) during an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Toronto, Canada. (AP Photo/Peter Power)
  • The Canadiens and Maple Leafs play Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Saturday, May 22nd
  • Montreal surprised Toronto by a score of 2-1 in Game 1.
  • Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick

The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs meet once more. Game 2 will be played on Saturday, May 22nd (7:00 pm EST) at Scotiabank Arena and will be broadcast on CNBC, Sportsnet, and CBC.

Toronto is listed as solid -180 home favorites to win Game 2 of the series despite falling at home in Game 1 to Montreal.

Should you bet the Maple Leafs to bounce back or does Montreal take an improbable 2-0 lead?

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Canadiens vs Maple Leafs Game 2 Odds

Team Moneyline at DraftKings Spread Total
Montreal Canadiens +155 +1.5 (-195) O 5.5 (-105)
Toronto Maple Leafs -180 -1.5 (+155) U 5.5 (-117)

Odds as of May 21st

The John Tavares Injury

Arguably this entire series may have turned on just one play — an accidental one at that.  Few could have seen this coming at all. In what could be described as a freak accident, Ben Chiarot and John Tavares came together. As Tavares was falling to the ice, Corey Perry’s knee hit the head of Tavares. Just like that, Toronto’s center was out cold.

What ensued next was panic. It was not an easy situation for anyone and most players looked like they felt sick to their stomachs. Tavares was definitely out for some time but there was some good news at least after he left the ice. The hospital update was even more encouraging.

The short-term effect of Game 1 pushed the numbers dramatically to the under. It was a 2-1 game that had some scoring chances but just did not have that same feel of a playoff game. It was surreal as players went through the emotions. Now that it appears Tavares will be okay, Game 2 should be different.

When does John Tavares return? Now, that is up to the doctors but he’ll be held out of Game 2 and likely longer. That will have a significant impact considering Tavares plays a ton of power-play time and sees 18+ minutes a night of overall ice time. Toronto will have to fill that void somehow and yet it could become a rallying point as well. Time will tell.

Hey, there’s Carey Price!

Now, somewhat lost in the return of Brendan Gallagher to the lineup was the fact that Carey Price was starting in net for the Montreal Canadiens against a team he traditionally does not do well against. What happened? Naturally, Price turned in one of his best performances of the season in the 2-1 Game 1 win. The Montreal goaltender stopped 35 shots in all. That included all 14 in the final period.

Price looked much like his old self against teams not named Toronto. In four starts versus the Maple Leafs this year, Price was just 1-2-1 with a 3.48 goals-against-average and .868 save percentage. That was, by far, his worst numbers against any North Division team. That included allowing 14 goals and five power-play goals. On Thursday night, for one night, the clock turned back.

Can we expect this going forward? That is the question. Montreal may or may not lose this series but Price tends to play a good deal better in the playoffs (especially the last four playoff appearances).

Canadiens vs Leafs Series Odds

Team Odds at DraftKings
Montreal Canadiens +100
Toronto Maple Leafs -122

Odds as of May 21st

Canadiens vs Leafs Game 2 Best Bet

The Leafs are decent favorites to win Game 2 and slight favorites to win the series because they have enough of an advantage in even-strength play offensively and defensively to eventually beat Montreal at its own game. Toronto needs to play more as they did in periods two and three in Game 1 to outlast Montreal.

For Toronto, it all boils down to execution. Their expected goals for improved as the game went on Thursday night. The key is for the Maple Leafs to not allow Carey Price in their heads. If they can avoid that, they should be okay for Game 2. Hence, Toronto is my pick on the moneyline to bounce back and take a look at that series number for Toronto (-122).

Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs (-180)

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