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Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers: Maple Leafs Take on Matthew Tkachuk and the Panthers

Written by: Max Heering
Published March 23, 2023
12 min read
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are 2-2-1 in their last five games.

  • The Florida Panthers have won three of their last four games.

  • The Maple Leafs beat the Panthers 5-4 in overtime in their first meeting.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers Odds

Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.




Toronto Maple Leafs



O 7.5


Florida Panthers



U 7.5


Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers Predictions and Picks

Florida Panthers beat Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3

Toronto Maple Leafs cover

Under 7.5 goals

Maple Leafs vs Panthers Predictions

Head-to-Head: Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers

Toronto Maple Leafs


Florida Panthers

Sheldon Keefe

Head Coach

Paul Maurice

42-19-9 (2nd in Atlantic Division)


36-28-7 (4th in Atlantic Division)


Mitchell Marner (90)


Matthew Tkachuk (96)

William Nylander (35)


Carter Verhaeghe (36)

Mitchell Marner (63)


Matthew Tkachuk (62)

Auston Matthews (29)


Matthew Tkachuk (23)

Auston Matthews (4.22)

Shots (Per Game)

Matthew Tkachuk (4.03)

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers Predictions and Picks

The Toronto Maple Leafs will travel to Sunrise, Florida, to face the Panthers for the second time this season. The Maple Leafs won their first matchup this season 5-4 in overtime.

The Maple Leafs have been a top-five team this season and are in second place in the Atlantic Division with 93 points. While Toronto is in an excellent position, they only have a three-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning. A win today would help them clinch that position. On the other side, the Panthers have pushed themselves into the second Wild Card position with strong play lately. However, they could fall out of the spot with a loss today, so a win is vital.

The Maple Leafs have a great roster but have been mediocre over the previous two weeks. Their defense has been struggling and giving up more goals than usual. The Maple Leafs gave up seven goals in their last game. If the Toronto defensemen can return to form, the Maple Leafs will be tough to beat.

The Maple Leafs are led by Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and John Tavares. These four have 69 points or more and are fantastic players. If they stay healthy, the Maple Leafs will be in good shape.

Matt Murray will probably be in the net for the Maple Leafs tonight. Murray has struggled this month and given up four goals in his previous four starts. He must step up and play much better than that today.

The Panthers' offense has been on a tear lately. They have scored 25 goals over their previous five games, which has been instrumental in them going 3-1-1 in that period. If the Florida offense keeps operating at a high level, they will be unstoppable.

The Panthers are seeing strong seasons from Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe, Aleksander Barkov, and Brandon Montour. These four do not all have the same skill sets, but all perform at a high level.

Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the start for the Panthers. Bobrovsky is not as good as he once was but can be a brick wall in the net. If he can tap into that brick-wall mentality tonight, the Panthers will win.

The Panthers are the better team right now and playing at home, so they will win this game.

Why Might the Maple Leafs Win?

The Maple Leafs are the underdogs but can win if they limit the Panthers’ shots and draw penalties.

The Maple Leafs are in an interesting position for this game. They will be without starting netminder Ilya Samsonov and will likely look to backup Matt Murray. Murray is a solid backup but a step down from Samsonov. Since Murray is probably getting the start, the Maple Leafs’ defensemen need to step up and make life easier for him. They must be aggressive and limit the Panthers’ shots. This will be difficult because the Panthers average 37 shots a game.

The Maple Leafs have the second-best power-play unit in the NHL and convert over 25% of their opportunities. Toronto’s power play unit has been key to their success this season and will be hugely important to this game. They must put at least one puck in the back of the net to give themselves a chance.

Why Might the Florida Panthers Win?

The Panthers are the favorites but will only win if they pass to Matthew Tkachuk and score four or more goals.

Matthew Tkachuk is the best player on the Panthers by a mile. I do not say that to discredit Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov, but he is having a career year at the age of 25. He comes into this game with 68 points (34 goals, 62 assists) and has scored at least one goal in his previous five games. His teammates must pass the puck to him every opportunity they get. If they do, he will score or set them up with scoring opportunities.

The Panthers rarely lose when they score four or more times. They have won nine of their last ten games when they scored four or more times. Florida must set the tone early and score a first-period goal. If they do, they will finish with at least four goals.

Maple Leafs Key Players: (D) Morgan Reilly

There were a few solid candidates for this, but I chose Morgan Reilly because he is the Maple Leafs’ top defenseman. Reilly will have a lot on his plate today as he takes on the hot Panthers. He must take charge of the Maple Leafs’ defense and slow down the Panthers’ offense. If he performs up to his potential, the Maple Leafs can limit the Panthers’ scoring.

Panthers Key Player: (C) Eetu Luostarinen

Eetu Luostarinen is an odd choice, but I have a good reason for picking him. The Panthers will likely be without Sam Bennett this game, so Luostarinen will see more playing time. He must take advantage of that extra time on the ice and show that he can be depended on.

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How to Watch Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers

  • What - Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers

  • Where - FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida

  • When - Thursday, March 23, 7:00 PM EST

  • How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+

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Max Heering

429 Articles

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]

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