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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. N.Y. Rangers NHL Betting Predictions & Preview

Maple Leafs vs Rangers Hockey Odds

The Toronto Maple Leafs will make the trip down to legendary Madison Square Garden for a showdown with the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

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Toronto Maple Leafs (33-23-8) at New York Rangers (33-26-3)
Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Madison Square Garden
City: New York, New York
O/U Odds: 5.5
Money Line: New York -170, Toronto +160

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The Maple Leafs had won 11 of 14 games heading into the Olympic break but have come out on the wrong end, dropping three consecutive decisions, all by one-goal, while the Rangers also appeared poised for a run on the other side of the break after winning 11 of their final 15 games prior to the Olympics, but after beating the Blackhawks in their first game back, New York has lost two in a row, surrendering a combined 10 goals in those two losses.

Of course it was star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes for the Rangers in each of those two losses. Lundqvist backstopped Team Sweden all the way to the gold medal game in Sochi, with the Swedes playing the maximum number of games, and that combined with all the travel could mean Lundqvist is dealing with some fatigue.

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That still doesn’t excuse away his 5.12 GAA and .844 save percentage in March. Toronto may not be the opponent to do that against though, as he’s put together a less than stellar 2.96 GAA and .887 save percentage in six matchups against them since the start of the 2011-12 season.
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The Rangers have taken both meetings from the Maple Leafs this season, most recently a 7-1 victory on Jan. 4, their sixth win in the last seven meetings. They’ll need to produce some offense again in this one, and they’ll lean on leading point-getter Brad Richards for production in that area.

Richards has six points in his last seven games. They could also get a bit of a boost with winger Mats Zuccarello slated to return.

As for the Maple Leafs, they’ll again lean heavily on their top line of Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, and Tyler Bozak. Kessel and van Riemsdyk had each been enjoying a four-game point streak which snapped in the team’s loss to Columbus their last time out. Kessel in particular has been red hot, with 13 goals and 18 assists in the last 18 games.

The Leafs are now 4-17-2 on the season when Kessel does not record a point.

The way to evaluate this game simply comes down to looking at the stars for each side. Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist seems lost, while Toronto’s top line is flying high with the exception of their last game.

The Leafs surely hope they can get back on track in this one, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them do that against a struggling goaltender.

The Maple Leafs are 6-1 in their last seven games against opponents with a winning record.

The play: Toronto +160

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