The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Dallas Stars in the NHL regular championship.
The Toronto Maple Leafs snapped their three-match winning streak, falling to the New York Islanders with a score of 3:2 in their last game following the All-Star break. The winning goal was scored by former Toronto player Pierre Engvall with two minutes left in the third period, after John Tavares tied the score by scoring a goal while in majority. This match underscored weaknesses in the team's defence, despite a strong offence averaging 3.42 goals per game.
However, Toronto's defence struggles, conceding on average 3.17 goals per game, and goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov shows a save percentage of .879 with an average of 3.35 goals conceded per game. In their last game against the Islanders, Toronto dominated with a shot ratio of 36 to 29 and played with a power-play result of 1:2, but this did not prevent a loss. After victories over Winnipeg and Seattle, the team aims to improve their performance, particularly in defence, to maintain a balance between offence and defence.
In their first match after the break, the Dallas Stars kicked off a three-match road trip with a win over the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 2:1. Matt Duchene also made a mark with a goal, while Joe Pavelski played in his 1300th NHL game. With this victory, the Stars continue an excellent season, winning nine out of their last twelve games. Dallas' attack is one of the leading in the league, scoring an average of 3.69 goals per game.
However, the team faces defensive issues, conceding an average of 3.06 goals per game, raising questions about the effectiveness of defence and goalie play. In recent matches, Dallas also secured victories over Washington, Anaheim and Detroit, showing good form in both attack and defence. Key players, including Jason Robertson, continue to lead in team results, while goalkeeper Scott Wedgewood is expected to start in the upcoming games, despite the challenges he faces on the ice.
Tomorrow's match will see the Robertson brothers face off - Nicholas represents Toronto, while Jason represents Dallas. Nicholas won all three previous NHL matches between these two teams, while in the victory of 21 October 2022 he made a double. On 27 October 2023, Toronto won over Dallas with a score of 4:1. On 7 December, Toronto also won against Dallas, this time by a crushing score of 4:0. In the match on 8 April 2022, the victory went to Toronto in overtime with a score of 4:3. On 16 March 2022, Toronto once again beat Dallas with a score of 4:0. However, in an earlier confrontation on 14 February 2020, Dallas managed to snatch a victory from Toronto with a score of 3:2.
Dallas has excellent results in recent matches and a four-match winning streak, so I expect a strong performance and goals scored from them, therefore, I'm going for Total Goals Over 6. The Canadians have not had the best record in home matches, standing 12-12.