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Maple Leafs underdogs in heavyweight showdown vs. Lightning

The top two teams in the NHL standings will clash on Thursday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Tampa Bay Lightning as +110 underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by

Toronto is coming off a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes that put the brakes on a two-game slide and left the club just six points back of Tampa Bay with a game in hand going into Thursday night’s Maple Leafs vs. Lightning betting matchup at Amalie Arena.

The Maple Leafs have compiled a league-leading 12-4-0 road record. Toronto, though, has struggled against the Lightning, dropping one-goal decisions in its past two visits to Tampa Bay, and going 1-4-0 in their past five overall.

The Lightning are listed as -130 chalk in their first meeting of the season with Toronto. Tampa Bay enters the contest riding a seven-game win streak, and has won 12 of 14 since Nov. 15 to pull away from the pack with an NHL-best 24-7-1 record.

However, Toronto and Tampa Bay remain in a dogfight at the top of the Stanley Cup odds, with the Lightning set as +340 favourites, just ahead of the Maple Leafs at +370.

Elsewhere on the NHL Thursday odds, the Montreal Canadiens look to bolster their position as the second wild card in the Eastern Conference as they host the Hurricanes in a matchup set as a pick’em at the sportsbooks.

As well, the Vancouver Canucks look to establish their longest winning streak of the season as they visit the Central-leading Nashville Predators as +185 underdogs, while the Winnipeg Jets host the red-hot Edmonton Oilers as -175 favourites in an all-Canadian affair.

The Canadiens return home on the heels of their worst defeat of the season, a 7-1 loss in Minnesota as +150 underdogs on Tuesday night that halted a three-game win streak.

Montreal has won two of three on home ice, but has been prone to streaky play while picking up wins in just four of 11 contests overall. The Canadiens have also lost five straight to the Hurricanes, and have been held to two or fewer goals in four of five home meetings with Carolina.

Vancouver has scored 14 total goals in three straight wins including a 5-3 home victory over the Predators as a +130 home underdog at online betting sites on Dec. 6.

The Oilers have also filled the net, averaging 4.25 goals per game during a four-game surge, but face an equally hot Jets squad that is 6-1-0 in their past seven games, scoring 13 total goals in consecutive home wins over Philadelphia and Chicago.

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