Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:44 AM

Panthers vs. Lightning Predictions, Odds, Preview

May 20, 2021
by Joe Williams
NHL Expert

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 Predictions

Score Prediction Lightning 4 Panthers 2

The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning posted victories in both games in Sunrise, and now they look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in their return to home ice. Even if they are only able to gain a split at Amalie Arena, they'll still be in the driver's seat, but don't expect to see the champs pull up and take their foot off the gas.

Tampa Bay posted a 21-7-0 record on home ice, with two of those losses coming at the hands of the Panthers. These teams split the four games played in Tampa this season, with the Panthers actually outscoring the Lightning 16-15 in those outings.

The Panthers head into this one with a bit of a quandary in the crease. They're paying Sergei Bobrovsky a lot of money to play goalie, but Chris Driedger was arguably better in Game 2 than his higher-priced counterpart. Don't be surprised if Bob starts, but he has a very short leash.

The news gets better if you're a Tampa backer, especially if you need at the trends. The Panthers are 7-19 in their past 26 trips to Tampa, they're 6-14 in the past 20 meetings overall, and the favorite is 20-6 across the past 26 in this series. In addition, Florida is just 1-8 in its past nine as an underdog in the postseason. All arrows are pointing to the Lightning to take a 3-0 series lead.

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 Best Bets

  • Lightning -145
  • OVER 5.5 (-120)

The favorite has covered the -1.5 puck line in three of the last four games played between the Lightning and the Panthers. (AP)

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 Odds

First Round Series Odds

  • Panthers +125
  • Lightning -150
  • Panthers (+1.5) -200
  • Lightning (-1.5) +165
  • Over 5.5 -115
  • Under 5.5 -105

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 Betting Analysis

  • Venue: Amalie Arena
  • Location: Tampa, Florida
  • TV-Time: USA - 6:30 p.m. ET

Florida Panthers: 37-16-5 SU, 28-30 ATS, 28-25-5 O/U
Tampa Bay Lightning: 38-17-3 SU, 25-33 ATS, 28-27-3 O/U

The Lightning have no such issues in their crease. With Andrei Vasilevskiy, you know what you're going to get. He allowed four goals on 39 shots in a seesaw affair in Game 1, winning 5-4. He had it on lockdown in Game 2, turning aside 32 of 33 shots in a 3-1 win. Now, he is back on home ice where he posted an absolutely ridiculous 18-2-0 record, 1.75 GAA and .936 SV% with three of his five shutouts.

It's not all about the goaltenders, as far as the result of this game, as there are obviously other parts to the game. But really, the goaltending is the biggest difference so far. And, it's hard to trust Bobrovsky on the road. He was actually better at home this season, posting a 10-3-2 record, 2.64 GAA and .919 SV% in 15 starts at BB&T Center, while going just 9-5-0 with a 3.17 GAA and .891 SV% in 16 outings on the road. So if you were hoping for Bob to turn it around in Game 3, it doesn't look too good.

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Series History

  • 05/18/2021 - Tampa Bay 3 (-1.5) at Florida 1 (Under 6)
  • 05/16/2021 - Tampa Bay 5 at Florida 4 (+1.5) (Over 6)
  • 05/10/2021 - Tama Bay 0 at Florida 4 (-1.5) (Under 6)

Projected Goalies

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

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

2021 NHL Playoff First Round Betting Resources

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change

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