Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Game 7 odds, prediction: Toronto looks to overcome 3-1 series deficit in Boston | Sporting News

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For the Boston Bruins, it’s a case of “here we go again” as their first-round 2024 National Hockey League playoff matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs heads to Game 7 after the team squandered a 3-1 series lead.

For the fourth time since 2004, and the second straight year, Boston is in danger of being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs after leading a series 3-1. No team has ever suffered that fate in back-to-back seasons.

Boston is listed at to win Game 7. 

Toronto pulled even Thursday night with a 2-1 victory behind two goals from William Nylander and the goaltending of Joseph Woll.

The series finale is set for Saturday in Boston (8 p.m. ET). The winner advances to face host Florida beginning Monday.

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Bruins vs. Maple Leafs odds

Here are the latest Bruins vs. Maple Leafs odds at the best online sports betting sites:

 

Can Bruins avoid another historic fall?

Last year, Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston was in much the same situation.

After setting a league record for most points in a season with 135 and having a home record of 34-4-3, they lost three of four on Boston ice to Florida in the first round.

This playoff go-round, they have lost two of three at home after going 24-11-6 in Boston during the season.

Said Bruins coach Jim Montgomery after Thursday’s defeat: “We are going to be in front of our great crowd that’s extremely loud and we’ve got to go in there and we have to dig in.”

And also get off to faster starts.

What’s been particularly unsettling have been the team’s performances early in games. Especially on Thursday when the Leafs outshot the Bruins 12-1 in the first period. The Bruins can thank goalie Jeremy Swayman the game remained scoreless. And, it didn’t help that the Bruins won only 31% of face-offs in the game.

Bruins right winger David Pastrnak, the team’s leading scorer with 110 points this season, has been particularly ineffective in this series. He has two goals and two assists, but both assists came on empty-netters.

Can Leafs keep winning while shorthanded?

Toronto center Auston Matthews, whose 69 goals were the most by anyone the past 28 seasons, has been out of action since late in Game 4.

Much of the speculation has been that he’s been dealing with an illness that dates to Game 3, but there also have been reports he might have an undisclosed injury, too.

And then there’s Nylander, second on the team’s goal-scoring list with 40. He missed the first three games with a severe migraine. But based on his Game 6 production, he appears to be fine.

Standout goaltending for Bruins, Leafs

Woll has been sensational in net since taking over for starter Ilya Samsanov late in Game 4, allowing two goals in two-plus games. Included was a meaningless last-second goal Thursday. His goals-against average is a playoff-best 0.86 to go with a save percentage of .964. 

Swayman is next on the chart at 1.60 and .947.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs betting prediction: Boston wins

It hasn’t been all gloom and doom for the Bruins over the years in Game 7s and playing at home.

Since 2013, Boston has faced Toronto three times in a deciding first-round game and won each time. The Bruins also prevailed in 2018 and 2019.

That series 11 years ago was extra special for Boston. After blowing a 3-1 series lead, they trailed 4-2 in Game 7 at home but scored twice in the final 1:22 of regulation and won in overtime.

As for Matthews, there has been no indication as of Friday morning he will return for Game 7. And considering the Leafs scored only two goals each game during his absence, Toronto has indeed struggled offensively. 

Prediction: Boston

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