It’s a great day for hockey in the Sunshine State! It took 27 seasons before fans got to see the Lightning vs Panthers in the NHL Playoffs. Now, for the second year in a row we are treated to the “Battle of Florida”, this time with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line. The Lightning narrowly escaped the first round, while the Panthers were able to wrap up their series in six games and afford themselves a few extra days off. These are two of the most electric teams in the NHL. Both deserve to be here and either one could advance for a multitude of different reasons. You should fully expect this to be an incredible series across all facets of the game.
Let’s take a look at the betting odds and season history for the series, and give our Lightning vs Panthers NHL Playoffs prediction.
Lightning vs Panthers NHL Playoff Series Preview and Stream
Lightning vs Panthers Record | Regular Season History
What we saw in the Lightning vs Panthers regular-season contests could closely mimic the types of games we will see in this NHL Playoffs series. These two teams played each other quite a few times very early in the season, including three straight games in the preseason. It can be difficult to draw any real meaning from regular-season games between teams that haven’t played in many months. Teams who are successful in the playoffs often change so much before really finding their stride in the season. Of the four games that counted, only one has taken place since December.
That game happened just one week prior to the start of the NHL Playoffs, and resulted in an 8-4 blowout win for the Lightning. The Panthers have a blowout on their resume as well, but it comes with a massive caveat in the fact that Andrei Vasilevskiy was not in net for the Lightning. Instead, the Panthers got to tee off on a pair of third-string goaltenders who went on to play a combined four games in the NHL this season.
Lightning vs Panthers NHL Playoff Series Betting Odds
Moneyline: TB: (+145) | FLA: (-165)
Series Total Games: 5.5 — Over: (-190) | Under: (+145) / 6.5 — Over: (+185) | Under: (-280)
Series Spread: TB: +1.5 (-180) | FLA: -1.5 (+140) / TB: -1.5 (+200) | FLA: +1.5 (-300)
Public Betting via Action Network: TB: (41%) | FLA: (59%)
Odds to Win Stanley Cup: TB: (+650) | FLA: (+375)
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Lightning vs Panthers NHL Playoff Series Keys to Victory
Tampa Bay Lightning: The first and most important key to victory for the Lightning is making sure their goaltender is happy and healthy and has everything he needs to succeed. The Lightning go as Vasilevskiy goes. Going into Game 7 against Toronto, Vasilevskiy had earned five straight shutouts in close-out game situations. The streak was broken just over halfway through the game but ended up being the only goal for the Maple Leafs. To reiterate how insanely impressive that accomplishment is, Vasilevskiy played over 16 periods, or 320 minutes, in high-pressure playoffs situations and did not allow one single goal.
Beyond that, the Lightning have to continue to be successful on the powerplay. Both these teams take a ton of penalties, averaging over 10 minutes in the box per game. Converting chances into goals is key against a team like Florida.
Florida Panthers: The Panthers also need their goaltender to play his best. Bobrovsky did split some time and struggle at points during the regular season. Still, he was solid and saw every minute of playing time in round one against Washington. He’s a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and everyone in this series knows how good he can be. The biggest thing for the Panthers is to not get down early in games. They have lived on the edge and crafted some incredible comebacks and late-game heroics this season, but you cannot bank on that happening against the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions.
The Panthers are the home team and are favored in the series, naturally putting a majority of the pressure on them. This is easily the biggest moment and biggest test for the franchise since being swept in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1995-96 in just their third year of existence.
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Lightning vs Panthers NHL Playoff Series Prediction
This Lightning vs Panthers series has the potential to steal the show and be the best series of these 2022 NHL Playoffs. Everyone should hope this series goes seven games. If the Lightning can pull off the victory, it will be the toughest path to the conference finals in recent memory. The Panthers have the ability to win this series. Still, we favor the experience and resilience of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The lack of travel should also be a positive factor for both players and fans. It will probably create more of a mixed live crowd than in a typical series. In the end, we hope for a long and entertaining series. We think the Lightning will come out victorious as plus money series underdogs once again.
Our NHL betting Lightning vs Panthers playoff prediction will be Lightning Series Money Line at BetUS.
Lightning vs Panthers Prediction and NHL Playoffs Picks
Tampa Bay Lightning – Series ML (+145)
Series Total Games – o6.5 (+185)
*continue to check back on FlurrySports.org as more picks and updated odds will be available upon release*