The theme of yesterday's guide was a goaltending imbalance that needed to turn around for Dallas to even the series. Tonight, a team needs one just to keep playing.
How should we bet Wednesday's pair of games?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Header links are to numberFire's betting model for each game. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers
Maple Leafs ML (-125)
Though there is the possibility of a no-show anytime that a team is down 3-0 in a series, I'm not sure the Maple Leafs quit digging tonight.
Toronto has actually won the game behind the game in this series. Expected goals (xGF) per 60 minutes favor the Leafs, 3.60 to 3.07, despite the no-margin-for-error hole that they've dug themselves.
Though unlikely, they might have accidentally stumbled upon their way to save the season. Ilya Samsonov has struggled this postseason, posting -0.29 goals saved above expectation (GSAx), but he's out due to injury in Game 4.
Joseph Woll, who spent the bulk of his season in the AHL, will get the nod instead. However, Woll played tremendously well in spot duty. His GSAx per game (0.94) was actually higher than Samsonov's (0.51) and Florida's Sergei Bobrovsky's (0.06).
There's an element of Bobrovsky due to regress, too. He's posted a league-best 5.42 GSAx in the playoffs despite just 2.92 total in the regular season. Will he stay red-hot forever?
Given the Maple Leafs are outskating the Panthers at present and we could project an upgrade in goal, this number is actually quite friendly to bet they live to see another day.