Last Updated May 18, 2022, 3:41 AM

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Picks, Predictions, Odds

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers meet at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fla. on Tuesday night for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, a best-of-seven series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on TNT.

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Score Prediction

Lightning 4, Panthers 3

Best Bet

Lightning +140
Over 6.5 (-130)

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TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS PREDICTIONS

The Tampa Bay Lightning stuck a stake in the hearts of the Toronto Maple Leafs, winning at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night by a 2-1 count. The Lightning erased a 3-2 series deficit, winning a pair of elimination games to keep hope alive of a three-peat for the Stanley Cup. Some might argue this is their first legitimate run after a pair of 'COVID Cups', but the fact remains Tampa won and the other teams in the postseason did not, so you can't take away the accomplishments of the Lightning just like that. They're champions no matter the circumstances.

The Florida Panthers also faced a deficit in their series against the Washington Capitals, getting blasted 6-1 in Game 3 in D.C. to go down 2-1. The Panthers have since rattled off three straight victories, including a pair of overtime winners, and Carter Verhaeghe has emerged as a stud for the Panthers. He set a franchise record with two goals and five points for most points in a playoff contest in the Game 6 clincher, and his 12 points (6 G, 6 A) in the series also set a franchise mark.

Oh, and did you know that Verhaeghe was once traded from the Maple Leafs to the New York Islanders for veteran Michael Grabner in Sept. 2015. The Leafs sure could use a little extra help from someone like Verhaeghe to get over the hump, eh? Verhaeghe was traded by the Isles to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a dude named Kristers Gudlevskis in July 2017. He notched his first NHL point on an assist in Oct. 5, 2019 against the Panthers, and he eventually ended up winning a Stanley Cup in Aug. 2020 with the Lightning. They team did not tender him a qualifying offer, and he was released to explore free agency, eventually landing with the Panthers. He set career highs with 24 goals and 55 points this past regular season, and is sizzling in the playoffs. Can you say chip on the shoulder? Watch Verhaeghe closely in this series.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS BETTING ODDS

Lightning +140
Panthers -154
Lightning +1.5 (-169)
Panthers -1.5 (+155)
Over 6.5 (-130)
Under 7 (-123)

More Odds Futures Odds

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
  • Matchup: Atlantic vs. Atlantic
  • Venue: FLA Live Arena
  • Location: Sunrise, Fla.
  • TV-Time: TNT, 7 p.m. ET

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 55-26-8
  • ATS: 42-47
  • O/U: 49-38-2

The Lightning won Game 6 on home ice against the Maple Leafs, and the decisive Game 7 in Toronto for their first back-to-back wins of the postseason.

The last time these teams faced each other, Tampa Bay curb-stomped Florida in Sunrise by an 8-4 margin on April 24. Andrei Vasilevskiy coughed up four goals on 39 shots, but the Panthers chased Spencer Knight in the second period after he allowed five goals on 17 shots. We're not likely to see much, if anything, from Knight in this series.

Prior to that rout, the Panthers dusted the Lightning 9-3 on Dec. 30 in a game which Vasilevskiy missed due to injury. Maxime Legace started to the Lightning, and he won't be seen in a Tampa Bay sweater again, barring an absolute disaster.

The Lightning love the Conference Semifinals Round, going 24-5 in the past 29 games in the second round of the playoffs. They're also 9-4 in the past 13 games overall. The OVER is 18-6 in the past 24 games for the Lightning, and 5-2 in the past seven on the road.

One thing to watch, Brayden Point is dealing with a lower-body injury and is a question mark for Game 1.

FLORIDA PANTHERS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 62-20-6
  • ATS: 44-44
  • O/U: 47-33-8

The Panthers overcame that 2-1 series deficit to top the Capitals 4-2. It was the first playoff series win for the Panthers since 1996, a season which saw Florida go to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the Colorado Avalanche at Miami Arena in a sweep.

The Panthers had their franchise-best 13-game winning streak snapped by the Lightning in the aforementioned game April 24. Florida became just the second team in NHL history to post two home win streaks of 11 or more games in a single season, and FLA Live Arena is normally a tough place, although it wasn't that night for the Lightning.

Florida has been dominant at home, going 48-11 in the past 59 games at home, while cashing in four of the past five playoff games as a favorite. They're a whopping 46-8 in the past 54 games as a home favorite, too.

On totals, the OVER is 20-8-4 in the past 32 games at home for the Panthers.

The Lightning and Panthers duke it out for Florida supremacy. (Getty Images)

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS CONCLUSION

The Battle of Florida is set. There might not be many people as excited about this series as the Battle of Alberta between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. But this is a playoff series featuring two explosive teams, and it's going to be a war.

The home team has connected in five of the past seven meetings, and the favorite is 35-17 in the past 52 meetings overall. However, I think we get a rather high scoring game in the opening contest, and Tampa Bay steals the opener. The Lightning have the playoff experience and love playing in the Conference Semifinals Round. This is now unchartered territory for the Panthers, who hadn't been out of the first round since 1996. They'll find their sea legs, and the Panthers will be just fine. But going with the experience factor, I like the Lightning to fire the opening salvo.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS BETTING TRENDS

  • Lightning are 9-4 in the past 13 games overall.
  • Lightning are 11-3 in the past 14 playoff games as an underdog.
  • Lightning are 24-5 in the past 29 Eastern Conference Semifinals games.
  • Panthers are 44-15 in the past 59 games overall.
  • Panthers are 48-11 in the past 59 home games.
  • Panthers are 46-8 in the past 54 as a home favorite.
  • OVER is 18-6 in the past 24 games for the Lightning.
  • OVER is 5-2 in the past seven road games for the Lightning.
  • OVER is 20-8-4 in the past 32 home games for the Panthers.
  • Favorite is 35-17 in the past 52 meetings.
  • OVER is 20-9-1 in the past 30 meetings.
  • OVER is 10-4-1 in the past 15 meetings in Sunrise.
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