Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning Free Pick - Betting Lines
The Florida Panthers face a familiar foe in the Atlantic Division this Saturday night when they go on the road to Amalie Arena to square off against the Tampa Bay Lighting. Game time for this division clash is set for 7 p.m. (ET).
Florida at Tampa Bay Game Overview
Florida finds itself six points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings after dropping its last three games as part of a shaky 4-5-1 record over its last 10. The Panthers have been outscored 9-4 during this current three-game slide and the total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in four of their last five games. They will play host to Minnesota on Friday night before heading on the road where they have gone 14-10-8 this year.
Scoring goals on a consistent basis has been an issue all season long for the Panthers with an average of 2.4 goal per game that is ranked 25th in the NHL. They have done a better job at the other end of the ice with a 2.7 goals-allowed average that is ranked 15th in the league. The defense’s biggest strength has been against the power play with a NHL-best kill rate of 86.4 percent. Center Vincent Trocheck leads Florida in both goals (22) and total points (45) and he has tallied a goal and two assists in his last four games. Look for James Reimer to get the start in goal with Roberto Luongo still on the shelf with a lower body injury.
The Lightning’s’ impressive 4-1 victory against Minnesota on Thursday night as +118 home underdogs moved them to just four points back in the wild card race in the East. They have posted a 6-2-2 mark over their last 10 games including four victories in their last six games at home. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in six of their last nine games overall. Tampa Bay is 18-11-3 on its home ice this season.
This has been one of the more balanced teams in the NHL this season with an identical 2.7 average for both goals scored and goals allowed. Going back over the last 11 games, the Lightning have been able to score at least three goals in seven of those contests. Nikita Kucherov came up big on Thursday night with two goals and an assists and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced. Kucherov now has a team-high 30 goals on the year and his total points also top the list in Tampa Bay with 66.
Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Trends
- The Panthers have won five of their last six road games and they are 8-3 in their last 11 Saturday games. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in their last four games on the road.
- The Lightning are 3-9 in their last 12 games on one day’s rest, but they have won six of their last eight games at home. The total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in six of those eight home games.
- Head-to-head in this Atlantic Division clash, the home team has won six of the last seven meetings and the total has gone OVER in 12 of the last 15 meetings in Tampa Bay.
Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay lightning Prediction
You would have to give Tampa Bay the edge in Saturday’s game given the strong trends for the home team in this matchup. Florida will not have to travel all that far, but it will be still be playing back-to-back games which also swings things towards the Lightning.
While there is some added risk going chalk on the current moneyline odds, I would still bet on Tampa Bay to get the job done against its in-state rivals to even the season series at two games apiece.
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