NHL Betting: Maple Leafs to strike Lightning down

In Toronto, the nine year wait for the play-offs is officially over, with the Maple Leafs clinching a spot at the weekend with plenty of room to spare. 

They will be looking to further secure their seeding with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, for whom finishing third from bottom of the East is the highest they can manage.

Maple Leafs' coach Randy Carlyle has to be in the frame for the Adams Award for best coach after his team's drastic improvement this year. 

A lot has been said about their physical style and how he's made them tough to play against. As a consequence it's often been bypassed just how good they've been offensively. Back Toronto to get the win here at 2.50.

Detroit can make the all-important leap back up into 8th with at least a point against the Los Angeles Kings. The Red Wings haven't missed the post-season in over two decades.

Meanwhile the Kings are battling for 4th and home ice advantage in the first round, though on their route to becoming champions in 2012 they showed it was far from essential. 

Detroit's Swedish old guard of Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen led them to a vital win two days ago, experienced campaigners stepping up at the right time. It always seems to come together for the Red Wings in the end, so take them at 2.30.

After defeat on Monday left them hanging by a thread, the Phoenix Coyotes have to beat San Jose at home and hope it goes their way elsewhere, to even stay alive. 

It's not a match-up that favours them either, as San Jose won 4-0 here just over a week ago and have taken three of the four contests this season.

Logan Couture has emerged as the Sharks' chief goalscorer and has been a thorn in Phoenix's side throughout those previous meetings. He's good value to score tonight at 3.20. 

Even worse for the Coyotes is the fact that they've netted just five times in their last five outings, including being shut-out twice. Take San Jose with a -1.5 handicap at 3.80.

Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs to win at 2.50

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