Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Florida Panthers (5/19/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies

The Tampa Bay Lightning opened the second round series against the Florida Panthers with a 4-1 road victory. Nikita Kucherov and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning in the victory. 

The Lightning have won nine straight playoff series.  Tampa Bay has captured the last two Stanley Cups and is currently +550 to win their third consecutive title; the last team to do so was the New York Islanders who won four straight Stanley Cups; 1979-80 through 1982-83.  Presidents’ Trophy winners and the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, Florida Panthers knocked out the Washington Capitals in six games to open the 2021-22 playoffs.  The series win was Florida’s first since 1995-96 when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Panthers are +240 to win the Eastern Conference and tied with the Lightning at +550 to win the 2021-22 Stanley Cup. 

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Florida Panthers Betting Odds

Tampa Bay is -140 to beat their in-state rival, Florida Panthers in the second round.  The Lightning are 25-5 in their last 30 Conference Semifinals games.  Tampa Bay is 12-3 in their last 15 playoff games as an underdog.  Under is 6-2 in the Lightning’s last eight playoff games as an underdog.  Under is 5-2 in Lightning last seven Conference Semifinals games.  The home team is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between Tampa Bay and Florida.  The Panthers are +120 to end the Lightning’s reign as NHL champions in round two. Under is 5-2-3 in Florida’s last 10 games as a home favorite.  The Panthers are 4-1 in their last five playoff games as a favorite.  Under is 7-3 in Florida’s last 10 playoff games as a favorite.

Tampa Bay Lightning Analysis

Nikita Kucherov played in 47 games this season after missing the beginning of the season due to injury and was the club’s third leading scorer with 69 points (25 goals and 44 assists).  The 2018-19 Hart Trophy winner is Tampa Bay’s leading scorer in the playoffs with 10 points (three goals and seven assists).  Kucherov is +1800 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP this season.  Ondrej Palat had 49 points during the regular season, has five points this postseason (three goals and two assists).  He’s a +1 in eight playoff contests averaging 15:51 of ice time per game.   Steven Stamkos led the team in goals with 42 and points with 106 points during the regular season.  The center had 16 power play goals and an incredible 11 game winning goals in 2021-22.  The two-time Stanley Cup champion has five points (two goals and three assists) in eight playoff games this year.  Ross Colton and Nick Paul have combined for 11 points in the postseason.  Brayden Point who has four points this postseason will be out for Game Two due to a lower body injury.

Victor Hedman was the second leading scorer for Tampa Bay in 2021-22 with 85 points (20 goals and 65 assists).The 2017-18 Norris Trophy winner is second on the Lightning in scoring with eight points (two goals and six assists).  Additionally, Hedman averaged 25:51 of ice time in the postseason.He’s +2500 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, the 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner was 39-18-5 this season (tied for first in wins) in 63 games.  Tampa Bay’s number 88 had a .916 save percentage and a 2.49 GAA in 2021-22.  Through eight playoff games this year, he has a .907 save percentage and a 2.79 GAA.   In Game One of the second round vs. Florida, Vasilevskiy made 33 saves to preserve the victory.   The 2020-21 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is +1500 to repeat as Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Florida Panthers Analysis

Carter Verhaeghe was fantastic in the opening round against Washington, becoming the 12th player in NHL history to score the game-winning goal in three straight playoff games per NHL.com.  Overall, he has 12 points (six goals and six assists) in the postseason; second in the league in postseason scoring.  Claude Giroux, the former Philadelphia Flyers captain acquired at the trade deadline by Florida had seven points in the opening round vs. Washington, he’s second on the club in postseason points.  He’s a +5 in the playoffs while averaging 17:21 of ice time per contest.  Alexander Barkov, the Panthers captain, has tallied six points (two goals and four assists) in seven postseason games in 2021-22.  He’s averaging 21:56 of ice time per game in the playoffs.  Barkov is +1800 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.  Jonathan Huberdeau the first Florida Panther to score 100 points in a single season, finished tied for second in the league in scoring with 115 points; leading the NHL in assists with 85.   He had four points (one goal and three assists) in seven postseason contests.  Huberdeau is +2500 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.  Sam Reinhart has scored two goals in the postseason: after scoring 33 goals in the regular season. 

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad played in 61 games during regular season registering 57 points (15 goals and 42 assists).  A dangerous threat from the blueline, Ekblad has five points (one goal and four assists) in the 2021-22 postseason.  Additionally, he’s +2 while averaging 23:17 of ice time per game.

Sergei Bobrovsky had a record of 39-7-3 (tied for the league lead in wins with Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy) with a .913 save percentage and a GAA of 2.67 this year.  In the 2021-22 postseason, he has a .903 save percentage (195 saves on 216 shot attempts) and a 2.98 GAA.  The Panthers goaltender is +3000 to win the Conn Smythe Award this year.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Florida Panthers Picks & Prediction

During the regular season, Tampa Bay scored 3.5 goals per game, ranking them eighth in the NHL.  Through their first eight postseason games this season they’ve scored 27 goals: 3.75 goals per game. The Lightning are 71-30 in their last 101 Thursday games.  During the regular season, the Panthers scored 4.1 goals per game, first in the NHL. They’ve scored 21 goals in seven postseason contests: three goals per game.  Defensively Florida allowed three goals per game, ranked 13th overall.  In the playoffs they’ve allowed 23 goals: 3.26 goals per game. The Panthers are 17-5 in their last 22 Thursday games.

I was surprised how lackluster the Panthers played on Tuesday evening; Florida will play better on Thursday as they look to not lose two straight games at home to open the second round.  I’m going with the Panthers to win a close game, 3-2, not covering the 1.5 goal spread and the clubs combining for under 6.5 goals.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Florida Panthers Starting Goalies & Line Combination

Scott is graduate of Hofstra University and has worked in the sports media for over 20 years as a Producer and Writer. His dream is to see the New York Jets one day hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. He lives outside of Chicago with his wife and two children.

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