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Lightning vs panthers nhl

The Florida Panthers (62-21-6) hope to avoid going down 2-0 in their second-round series with their state rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning (56-26-8). The Cats, who have now lost seven consecutive series openers, are the betting favorites in Game 2. See below for a Lightning vs Panthers prediction, along with more insight and analysis.

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Lightning vs Panthers Betting Preview

Lightning vs Panthers Odds & Analysis

Opening Odds 

Although Florida has lost three of the last four meetings with Tampa, oddsmakers have made the Panthers favorites once again with opening odds of -156. And bettors believe Florida will bounce back as early money has favored the Panthers. The total is set at 6.5. The UNDER is 5-2 in the last seven head-to-head matchups, including Game 1 of this series. 

Get the best Lightning vs Panthers odds and lines available from our recommended sportsbooks for your favorite picks of the night.

  • Best Spread
    -175
    +160
    TB+1.5
    -1.5FLA
  • Best Moneyline
    +150
    -164
    TB
    FLA
  • Best Total
    -102
    -105
    Over6.5
    6.5Under

Lightning Loaded With Playoff Performers

To say this team is special would be an understatement. Tampa Bay is in search of its third consecutive Stanley Cup with the core group still in place. To nobody’s surprise, they are being led offensively by Nikita Kucherov. The Russian winger picked up a goal and an assist in Game 1 and leads the team with 10 playoff points.  But the Lightning are also getting contributions from a number of unsung heroes like Ross Colton, who leads the team with four goals. 

Meanwhile, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy looks to have rounded into form. He struggled to begin the postseason, allowing at least three goals in six straight games, but has since given up just one goal in each of his last two starts. 

The team will be without Brayden Point for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury. He will be replaced on the top line by Anthony Cirelli, who has struggled offensively in the playoffs with just one point in eight games. 

Special Teams Not So Special For The Panthers

The fact the Florida Panthers advanced past the first round in six games is a testament to just how good this team is. That’s because they didn’t score a single power-play goal in the entire series against Washington. And that trend continued in Game 1 vs Tampa as the Panthers came up short in three opportunities and have now gone 21 straight power plays without a goal in the playoffs.

And it’s not like their penalty kill has been much better. They rank 14th in the playoffs, ahead of only the eliminated Kings and Predators, with a percentage of 66.7. The Lightning converted three times in six chances with the man advantage in the series opener en route to a 4-1 victory. 

Carter Verhaeghe was held off the scoresheet on Tuesday night but continues to lead the team with 12 playoff points. Forward Mason Marchment is listed as doubtful with a lower-body injury.

Lightning vs Panthers Pick & Insights

Lightning: Keys To Victory

Keep the Panthers’ two-headed monster grounded. Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau have both been contained for the most part throughout the playoffs. If the Bolts can keep those two stars off the scoresheet and force Florida to beat them with its depth players, then Tampa could take a stranglehold on the series.

Panthers: Keys To Victory

Barkov, Huberdeau, Ekblad, Giroux and Reinhart. They make up Florida’s top power-play unit. The Lightning are too good an opponent to think you can beat them without a little bit of success with the man advantage. If Florida can break the goose egg on the power play, then dropping money on the home favorites may be the play when making your Lightning vs Panthers pick.

NHL Computer Pick: Lightning +145

Check out more of our signature NHL computer picks, plus our favorite sportsbooks that serve hockey customers. 

Shark Bites
  • Florida is 13-3 in its last 16 home games.
  • Tampa Bay is 4-2 in its last 6 games at Florida.    
  • The OVER is 13-4 in Tampa Bay’s last 17 games.