Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins Prediction, Preview and Odds - 10/23/2021

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Game Time: 7:00 pm ET, Saturday, October 23, 2021
Venue:  PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Where to Watch:  NHL Network


Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Moneyline:  Leafs -130, Penguins +110; Over/Under:  NL goals
Bet365:  Moneyline:  Leafs -130, Penguins +110; Over/Under:  6.5 goals
BetMGM:  Moneyline:  Leafs -135, Penguins +110; Over/Under:  6 goals

Season Record

Toronto Maple Leafs:  2-1-1 (4th place, Atlantic Division)
Pittsburgh Penguins:  2-0-2 (4th place, Metropolitan Division)
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Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
Toronto Maple Leafs:  lost at home on Oct. 18 against the New York Rangers in overtime 2-1.
Pittsburgh Penguins:  lost at home on Oct. 19 against the Dallas Stars in a shootout 2-1.

Toronto Maple Leafs Analysis

The Leafs are coming into this game with 5 points and a 2-2-1 record to start their season off while they are 0-1-0 in their road games this season where they will be in this game. They have had a rough start to their regular season and have now lost their last 2 games. They are also now 0-2 with Auston Matthews back in the lineup after coming back from his injury. After a few days of rest from their game on Monday, they played the Sharks on Friday night and lost 5-3 when the Sharks were playing the 2nd leg of a back-to-back being in Ottawa the previous night. They never had the lead once in that game and trailed for most of the game after the Sharks scored the 1st goal in the second period. Ondrej Kase, Jason Spezza, and John Tavares all had 1 goal in that game. Pierre Engvall, Jake Muzzin, William Nylander, and Wayne Simmonds all had 1 assist in that one. Engvall, Simmonds, and Tavares all led the team in shots on goal with 4 each. Michael Hutchinson was the starting goaltender in that game and he allowed 4 goals on 30 shots with 26 saves and a .867 sv percentage. Their offense has scored 11 goals in their 5 games this season averaging a little over 2 goals scored per game in that span and they have allowed their opponents to score 12 goals against them in that same span allowing over 2 goals per game.

Pittsburgh Penguins Analysis

The Penguins are coming into this game with 6 points and a 2-0-2 record overall to start their season and they are 1-0-1 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. The Penguins have alternated wins and losses since their first game of the season, losing their last game 2-1 to the Stars in a shootout. They went down in the first period and then tied the game in the second period but could not find a way to finish it. John Marino scored the only goal for them in that game while Brock McGinn and Marcus Pettersson both had 1 assist each. Kris Letang led the team in shots on goal in that one but had nothing to show for it in the end. Tristan Jarry was in charge of their goaltending in that game and he allowed 1 goal on 29 shots with 28 saves and a .966 sv percentage. Their offense has scored 16 goals in their first 4 games averaging 4 goals scored per game in that span and they have allowed their opponents to score 11 goals against them allowing a little under 3 goals per game. 


Maple Leafs vs Penguins Prediction

The Penguins are coming into this game as a slight underdog at home with the current betting odds according to Draftkings Sportsbook. The Leafs have not looked good in their recent games and have not been able to get a win since inserting Matthews back in the lineup. They will also be playing this game on a back-to-back travelling from Toronto to Pittsburgh after their Friday night game for this game on Saturday night. The Penguins have been finding ways to win games and even in their 2 losses on the season they came away with 1 point in each of those games. The best bet to place in this game is on the Penguins to win as an underdog here at home as that is where the value is.
Maple Leafs Penguins Prediction:  Our NHL Pick for Saturday, October 23, 2021 (7:00 pm ET start time) is Penguins 3 Maple Leafs 1.
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NHL Betting Trends

Toronto Maple Leafs: 79-63 (-25.5 units) in all games. 35-28 (-8.4 units) in a road game where where the total is 6 or more. 24-21 (-4.6 units) first half of the season.
Pittsburgh Penguins82-57 (+5.4 units) in all games. 34-14 (+11.5 units) in a home game where the total is 6 or more. 26-17 (+6 units) first half of the season.

Key Injuries

Toronto Maple Leafs:  P. Mrazek (G) Early Nov - Groin injury. I. Mikheyev (RW) Mid Dec - Thumb injury.
Pittsburgh Penguins:  S. Crosby (C) Out indefinitely - Wrist injury. T. Jarry (G) Out indefinitely - Illness. J. Carter (C) Out indefinitely - Illness. M. Friedman (D) Ques Sat - Lower Body injury. B. Rust (RW) Out indefinitely - Lower Body injury. E. Malkin (C) Mid Dec - Knee injury.

Players to Watch

Toronto Maple Leafs: William Nylander is one player to watch in this matchup. He leads the team in points and is their leading goal scorer this season and will need to step up here with Matthews getting off to a slow start. He has been their main source of offense and he added to his tally with another assist in their last game. Look for him to step up and keep carrying the team until he gets some help from their other stars.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Kris Letang is one player to watch in this contest. He leads his team in points and in assists this season and he is on the defense. He is coming off of a game where he was quiet on the scoreboard but still led the team in shots on goal. Look for him to keep getting his scoring chances in this one and capitalize on a few putting them in the back of the net.

Notable Quotes

“Just to be playing in front of fans again, it’s quite a feeling.” - Auston Matthews after his first start of the season coming back from an injury.
“We’re playing a simplified version of our identity. We’ve liked the way our team has progressed here. ... I think the collective effort has been noticeable.” - Mike Sullivan on the way his team has started the season with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup.

Starting Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs
LW Ritchie, Nick
C Matthews, Auston
RW Marner, Mitchell
LD Rielly, Morgan
RD Brodie, TJ
G Hutchinson, Michael
Pittsburgh Penguins
LW Guentzel, Jake
C Rodrigues, Evan
RW Kapanen, Kasperi
LD Dumoulin, Brian
RD Letang, Kris
G Jarry, Tristan

Statistical Leaders

Toronto Maple Leafs
Points: W.Nylander (5)
Goals: W.Nylander (2)
Assists: M.Rielly (3)
GAA: J.Campbell (1.18)
Pittsburgh Penguins
Points: K.Letang (4)
Goals: D.Heinen (3)
Assists: K.Letang (4)
GAA: T.Jarry (1.62)
Toronto Maple Leafs: Sheldon Keefe (3rd season)
Pittsburgh Penguins: Mike Sullivan (7th season)

Amedeus Mastrangelo

About the Author:

Amedeus Mastrangelo has been heavily wagering on all sports for years and plays just about everything, including sides, totals, favorites, underdogs, against the spread, alternative spreads, first half, second half, player props, and futures. The bottom line is, if Mastrangelo can see an edge in any way shape or form, then he's going to take advantage.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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