Lightning vs. Panthers Predictions, Odds, Preview

May 18, 2021
by Joe Williams
NHL Expert

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Game 2 Predictions

Score Prediction Lightning 4 Panthers 2

The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning had a wild opening playoff game in its quest to defend its crown.

Blake Coleman opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal to give Tampa a short-lived lead, but Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe scored against his old team to give Florida a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Nikita Kucherov, who missed the entire regular season while recovering from hip surgery, showed no rust in his season debut. He racked up two power-play goals in the second period to make it 3-2 heading to the room after 40 minutes. Victor Hedman had two of his three helpers in that second period.

While Jonathan Huberdeau and Owen Tippett scored to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead, Brayden Point scored on the power play, and added another to win it late.

So what is the point of a recap of the scoring? It shows how deep the Lightning are, and how many weapons they have. And Steven Stamkos was also able to play, and he had two helpers on Kuch's two PPGs. This is a dangerous team, with a cadre of weapons, and the Panthers aren't going to be able to keep up for the entire series. If Tampa wins Game 2, as expected, this Sunshine State showdown could be over before it starts.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Game 2 Best Bets

  • Lightning -120

After missing the entire regular-season, Nikita Kucherov returned in Game 1 to score 2 goals and lift Tampa Bay to a victory. (AP)

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Game 2 Odds

First Round Series Odds

  • Lightning -120
  • Panthers +100
  • Lightning (-1.5) +200
  • Panthers (+1.5) -250
  • Over 6 -110
  • Under 6 -110

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Game 2 Betting Analysis

  • Venue: BB&T Center
  • Location: Sunrise, Florida
  • TV-Time: CNBC - 8:00 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Lightning: 37-17-3 SU, 24-33 ATS, 28-26-3 O/U
Florida Panthers: 37-15-5 SU, 28-29 ATS, 28-24-5 O/U

The Panthers won the final two regular-season matchups at BB&T Center, but the Lightning were able to get the win in Game 1 in Sunrise. That was impressive considering the Panthers were 20-5-3 at home in the regular season.

Florida is a confident team, and they likely feel this will be a long series regardless of the Game 1 result. But if the Lightning are able to push the pace and build an early lead, doubt could start to creep in for the Panthers, who aren't exactly the more battle-tested team in terms of playoff games. Meanwhile, the Lightning have last season's run to the Stanley Cup title to tap into when they need a mental boost.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Series History

  • 05/16/2021 - Tampa Bay 5 at Florida 4 (+1.5) (Over 6)
  • 05/10/2021 - Tampa Bay 0 at Florida 4 (-1.5) (Under 6)
  • 05/08/2021 - Tampa Bay 1 at Florida 5 (-1.5) (Push 6)

Projected Goalies

Tampa Bay: Andrei Vasilevskiy (31-10, 5 SO, 2.21 GAA, .925 SV%)

Florida: Sergei Bobrovsky (19-8, 0 SO, 2.91 GAA, .906 SV%)

2021 NHL Playoff First Round Betting Resources

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change