Panthers Dream Season Facing Collapse
No President’s Trophy-winning team has won the Stanley Cup title since the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and no team with the most points during the regular season has advanced past the second round of the playoffs since the New York Rangers made it to the conference finals in 2015. The Panthers vs Lightning odds have shifted to Tampa Bay’s favor after Florida was the favorite to represent the Eastern Conference when the playoffs started.
The Florida Panthers are a loss away from both of those streaks continuing. Tampa Bay, which needed to win the last two games in the last series just to advance, has won the first three games in the series and can sweep the Panthers with a win at home on Monday.
The two franchises might be both located in Florida, but the similarities end there. Tampa Bay is looking to become the first team to reach the Stanley Cup Finals three seasons in a row since the 1980s Edmonton Oilers. The Panthers lost in their lone finals appearance and hadn’t won a playoff series since the run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996 before eliminating the Washington Capitals in the first round.
Before the series, the odds for a Lightning sweep were +1200 while Tampa Bay was +140 to win the series. The series price for the Lightning is now -1450.
Panthers vs Lightning Game Information
- Date: Monday, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
- Television: TNT
Panthers Need Offense With Bite
No team in the NHL scored more goals during the regular season than Florida’s 340. That is the highest total since the 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins scored 362 goals. That is a major reason why the Panthers vs Lightning odds were in Florida’s favor when the series started.
The Florida Panthers stats in the series have not been pretty. Florida has three goals on 106 shots on goal in the first three games in the series.
Eetu Luostarinen, Anthony Duclair and Sam Reinhart have the goals for Florida in the series.
Florida scored 19 goals in four games against Tampa Bay during the regular season. Seven different players had at least two goals led by Duclair scoring three times.
It might be a good time for 30-goal scorers Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksandar Barkov to find a way to beat Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. If that doesn’t happen, a memorable season could end a little earlier than the Panthers would like.
“We’re playing probably the best goalie,” said Huberdeau, who led Florida with 115 points during the regular season. “He’s making some saves. We’re having chances. We’re not getting bounces right now.”
“Credit to them, they are blocking every shot. You can see why they won two Stanley Cups.”
The Lightning are slight favorites to win the game by a goal (+320 to +325) and by two goals (+500 to +550). Check out all of the latest news concerning Panthers vs Lightning odds.
Kucherov Lighting Up Postseason for Lightning Again
Kucherov had 66 points in 48 playoff games to help the Lightning win back-to-back titles. Kucherov has two goals and five assists in the three games in the series against the Florida Panthers. With the Tampa Bay Lightning’s next game potentially being a ‘series clinched’, expect a big effort from Kucherov.
Kucherov had a goal and three assists in a 5-1 win in Game 3. It was his fifth multi-point game in these playoffs. He has scored at least two points 23 times in his last 58 postseason contests.
Kucherov has averaged a least a point per game in five of his last six postseasons. The lone exception was the 2019 first-round sweep by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He is averaging 1.15 points per game in the playoffs and 1.10 during the regular season during his career.
Kucherov had the assist on the overtime winner in Game 2 and now he will be front and center as Tampa Bay looks to lead the Lightning to their sixth trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2011. There was no Eastern/Western Conference format in 2021 due to the global pandemic.
With Kucherov leading the offense and the defense frustrating the high-scoring Panthers, another series victory is within the Lightning’s reach.
“We have a plan, the guys are executing and playing hard,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “We feel like we’ve got a recipe going here and we just have to stick with it.”
Panthers vs Lightning Betting Strategy
The Tampa Bay Lightning has moved within a game of a sweep despite not having the services of key forward Brayden Point. Point was injured during the Game 7 win over Toronto and it’s uncertain when he will return.
With goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy allowing three goals in three games and posting a save percentage of .971 in the series, the Lightning has been fine, even without Point who led the team with 14 goals in the postseason during last year’s championship run.
Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has had his struggles against Tampa Bay. He had a 4.03 goals-against average and save percentage of .850 in two games against the Lightning during the regular season. His numbers were even worse in the 2020 series against Tampa Bay with a 5.33 GAA and a save percentage of .841. It is hard to place much of the blame on Bobrovsky in this series with a 3.06 GAA and a .908 save percentage. Four of the nine goals Bobrovsky allowed have come with Tampa Bay on the power play.
Florida will be without forward, Mason Marchment due to a lower-body injury.
Tampa Bay has won nine of the last 13 games against the Panthers, including four in a row. The Lightning have outscored the Panthers 19-7 during that four-game winning streak, including 11-3 in this series.
Florida has lost four of its last five games played in Tampa. The Panthers have scored two goals or less in five of the last eight games in the series. Don’t forget to come right back here for coverage, and all the latest on the Tampa Bay Lightning next game.Follow us on Twitter