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NHL Betting Preview for Tuesday April 5, 2011: Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Written by Matt Stevens   
Monday, 04 April 2011 21:52

Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs PicksOnline Sports Betting Overview

If the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres each win their next games, and the Toronto Maple Leafs lose to the Washington Capitals, then the Leafs are out of the playoffs. Just like picking the winner in the 2011 March Madness betting, this adds a lot of drama to this game. NHL fans know that the Leafs’ chances of making the playoffs are very slim, but Toronto is not out of it yet and that is plenty of reason to continue to play as hard as they possibly can.

The Washington Capitals are in a battle with the Philadelphia Flyers for tops in the Eastern Conference NHL standings. The Capitals had a bit of a scare when they had to win in overtime against the Buffalo Sabres, but the Capitals are focused on winning and not necessarily being the best team for the regular season. The top spot in the Eastern Conference means home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. With a 24-8-8 home record, it makes sense for the Capitals to play hard to be at home for the majority of the playoffs.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The initial effect of goaltender James Reimer’s rookie success is wearing off in Toronto, and the defensive inconsistencies are starting to show. Reimer is constantly under siege, and there appears to be very little that the Leafs’ defense is able to do about it. But through it all, the Leafs are 7-3-0 in the last 10 games and riding a three-game winning streak. Reimer is primarily the reason for the Leafs’ success, but the Leafs are also finding the back of the opposition’s net more often lately. The Leafs have scored four goals in each of their last three wins. Two of those wins have come in overtime. One was a very important win over the Sabres and the other was an impressive win over the Boston Bruins. The Leafs need to win their last three games to have any shot at making the playoffs, and the Washington Capitals are not going to make it easy.

Washington Capitals
The Capitals are 7-2-1 in the last 10 games and are riding a two-game winning streak. Early in the season, the road was not kind to the Capitals. The Capitals went 5-5-1 in the first 11 road games, but they were shut out three times. Once the scoring started to come around, the Capitals found themselves winning road games. The Caps most recent road game was a 2-0 win over Montreal, but the team was shut out the night before by Ottawa. The Capitals are inconsistent on the road, and that works to the Leafs’ favor.

The Bottom Line
The Leafs seem to be hitting on all cylinders at home lately, while the Capitals are struggling a little on the road. The Leafs do not need a huge opening to walk through with this game, they just need the Capitals to have one bad period and it could be a long night for Washington. Both teams need this game, but the setting for the game says that the Leafs will come away with the two points they need.

BSN Sports Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs

 
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