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Stanley Cup Playoffs: Tuesday NHL Preview

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D.S. Williamson

April 23rd, 2019

A couple Game 7s are on the docket Tuesday, when the Toronto Maple Leafs battle the Boston Bruins and the Vegas Golden Knights take on the San Jose Sharks.

Toronto Maple Leafs (+120) at Boston Bruins (-140), 4 p.m., NBCSN

When the season started, the Maple Leafs weren't known as a defense-first team, and they didn't change anyone's mind during the season. They finishing 20th in goals allowed (3.04), 28th in shots allowed (33.4), and tied for 16th in penalty-kill percentage (79.9 percent).

During their series with the Boston Bruins, though, it's defense that has helped the Maple Leafs win their three games. They allowed Boston a single goal in Game 1 win, two goals in Game 3 and one in Game 5.

The losses? They allowed four goals Game 2, six goals in Game 4 and four more in Game 6. The Leafs must get their defense going Tuesday night.

There are plenty of conflicting trends in this matchup. Toronto is 2-5 in their last seven road games, but the road team is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Boston is 6-2 in their last eight games as a favorite of -110 to -150, but 1-5 in their last six games as a favorite.

This could be a bad game to overthink. The Bruins are at home, where they went 29-9-3 during the regular season. Boston should use the home ice to their advantage.

NHL Free Pick: Boston Bruins   

Vegas Golden Knights (+100) at San Jose Sharks (-115), 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said he's not worried about his team after it had its 3-1 series advantage erased, but the trends don't favor the Golden Knights.

Vegas dominated three straight games in the series because it was aggressive early. San Jose made the necessary adjustments that allowed it to take it to Vegas in Game 5 at home, then escaped Game 6 in the desert with a double-overtime win.

The home team is 5-2 in their last seven meetings. The Sharks will send Vegas home.

NHL Free Pick: San Jose Sharks
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