Tampa Bay Lightning
37-17-3
-130
+110
Florida Panthers
37-15-5
Tue, May 18 - 8:00p ET   |   CNBC   |   BB&T Center
By Landon Smith

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers NHL Hockey Preview & Free Picks 05/18/21

Tampa Bay Lightning Will Try to Get a Win When Meet Florida Panthers from BB&T CenterSunrise, FL - NHL Hockey Match Preview and Prediction Game on Wednesday, May 18, 2021.

Preview, Prediction and Picks

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their lead on the ice in the first round losing their last two regular season games to the Florida Panthers.

Tampa Bay picked it up on Sunday.

By meeting in the third and beating host Panthers 5-4 in Game 1 on Sunday night, defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning is back in a familiar place.

Tampa Bay will look to maintain that momentum Tuesday night in Game 2 in Sunrise, Florida.

The Panthers will not have one of their best players in Game 2, as center Sam Bennett was suspended from a game Monday for tackling Tampa Bay forward Blake Coleman in the third period Sunday.

Florida led 4-3 on Bennett's penalty. Brayden Point scored the first of his two goals in the third period to tie the score in the power play that followed.

The Panthers ended up allowing four special team goals Sunday: three in the Tampa Bay power play and one in shorthand.

Florida led 2-1 after the first period, but Nikita Kucherov, who made his debut this season after undergoing hip surgery in December, scored two power goals in the second.

The Panthers tied the score with a goal from Jonathan Huberdeau early in the third, then Owen Tippett gave Florida the lead with a good pass from Huberdeau.

But then Bennett threw the penalty against Coleman, and the Lightning had their chance.

The Lightning are expected to return Andrei Vasilevskiy to the net after allowing four goals on 39 shots on Sunday.

By beating the Panthers in Game 1, he ended a three-game losing streak against Florida to close out the regular season.

In his last four games against the Panthers, Vasilevskiy has given up 19 goals.

Sergei Bobrovsky allowed five goals on 40 shots when he lost his first start since April 22 to Carolina.

Florida could look to Chris Driedger in Game 2, although Joel Quenneville has not indicated that he will.

 

WINNER: Florida Panthers @ +110

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By Landon Smith, on 8:00p ET