New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) and right wing Leo Komarov (47) celebrate a goal as Dallas Stars defenseman Taylor Fedun (42) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) and right wing Leo Komarov (47) celebrate a goal as Dallas Stars defenseman Taylor Fedun (42) looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/LM Otero)|Associated Press
NHL

NHL Saturday: Islanders at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.

TV: ESPN+. CBC, SN1, MSG+

Craig Dietel

Craig Dietel

Islanders (19-13-4) +$200 at Maple Leafs (26-10-2) -$240

Pick: Maple Leafs (-$240)
Pick: Over 6.5 (+$100)

F John Tavares gets to play the Islanders in Toronto and he will be out for blood. Tavares left a bad taste in a lot Islanders fans mouth’s after he left the franchise that drafted him in free agency this summer in favor of playing for his hometown team. Look for him to be a key contributor here (he had two goals Friday night) as he takes on his old team. The Leafs have been an absolute juggernaut this season and show no signs of slowing down. Toronto is a team that rarely puts up less than three goals a game, eclipsing that mark in 17 of their last 20 contests. Look for them to exploit a weak New York defense and find the back of the net quite a few times.

The Islanders also have a lot to prove as they want to show their fan base they don’t need Tavares. They have been performing above expectations all season so they probably already feel like they don’t need Tavares, but emotions run high when a team plays their former captain who left them by his own volition. As we saw Fri, the Islanders are also capable of running up the score, so the Over seems promising.

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