Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers NHL Game 2 Pick – May 19

Following a thrilling Game 7 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1, the back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning followed that up with another impressive performance in Game 1 against Florida. The opening match of the Battle of Florida was surprisingly tame, but full credit to the veteran Bolts who quickly sucked the life out of the FLA Live Arena. Despite being down top forward Brayden Point, the Lightning were effective on the forecheck, and did well to suppress the speed and skill of the Panthers, in all three zones.

Jon Cooper has emerged as the top coach in the NHL, and has the Bolts thinking big this post-season. It would be unprecedented to see a team 3-peat in the salary cap era, but with Tampa’s current form, you have to like their chances. They’ve suddenly found their stride at the perfect moment, and with lockdown defense combined with outstanding goaltending from Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning will seek a commanding 2-0 lead on Thursday night.

The Panthers need a response, and a big one. They were nullified at virtually every opportunity in Game 1, and struggled to generate momentum, or get clear looks on goal. We saw a similar theme from Tampa against Toronto, and the Panthers need to find a way to break-through, and get more pucks at the net. Sergei Bobrovsky will start again in goal, and the big Russian netminder simply needs to be better. On the injury front, don’t expect to see physical winger Mason Marchment either, as he continues to deal with a lingering injury. His absence has certainly hurt Florida, and not given them that element of physicality needed to go toe-to-toe with the Lightning.

It’s too early in the series to deem any game a ‘must win’ but you better believe the President’s Trophy winning Panthers wouldn’t feel great going down 0-2 on home-ice. Both of these teams are hated rivals, and after a relatively tame opening series match, look for the Panthers to claw back in a big way on Thursday night, with added energy and physicality and a net-front presence in front of Andrei Vasilevskiy. It should be a fascinating showdown on Tuesday, and we’ve got all of your betting needs covered right here at The Sports Geek. Read on beneath the posted odds for the latest news, analysis, and our official betting prediction for Lightning/Panthers Game 2. Enjoy folks!

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Live Odds & Betting History

Betting odds provided by BOVADA

Spread:

  • Tampa Bay Lightning +1.5 (-180)
  • Florida Panthers -1.5 (+160)
Moneyline:

  • Tampa Bay Lightning (+140)
  • Florida Panthers (-160)
Total Points:

  • Over 6.5 (-110)
  • Under 6.5 (-110)
TEAM DATA LIGHTNING PANTHERS
Overall Record 56-26-8 62-23-6
ATS Record 43-47 44-45
Home/Away Record 27-17-2 36-9-0
Goals Per Game 3.8 4.1
Goals Against Per Game 2.8 3.0
Shots On Goal Per Game 34.9 37.3
Power Play % 23.3 24.4
Penalty Kill % 82.1. 80.6

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Game 2 Prediction:

While momentum swings in the NHL playoffs tend to be drastic, they also tend to rarely carry over from game-to-game. Despite the Bolts suffocating the Panthers in all facets and winning Game 1 convincingly, look for the Panthers to claw back with a big response in Game 2. There’s simply too much speed and skill within Florida’s lineup, and eventually they should be able to wear down a Lightning squad that has played a ton of hockey over the past few seasons.

Look for Florida coach Andrew Brunette to also do a much better job of leveraging his matchups, and using last change and home-ice to his full advantage. Without Brayden Point, the Bolts have really thinned out down the middle, and if he can avoid having Jonathan Huberdeau and Sasha Barkov out against Anthony Cirelli – that should result in a huge win for those skilled Panthers’ forwards.

Florida will also be keen to play more of the game at 5v5, an element where they thought they were better than the Bolts in Game 1. Tampa Bay’s power play has proven to be lethal so far this post-season, but if the Panthers can stay out of the box, their speed and depth should eventually take over.

Going back to Game 1, Florida controlled possession and the pace of play at even-strength, generating 58% of all scoring chances, and out-attempted the Bolts 41-31. That said, with Tampa Bay going a stunning 3-for-6 on their power play opportunities, it was tough for Florida to claw back into the game.

Look for a more disciplined approach from Florida, and this team should respond. They were the President’s Trophy winners for a reason this past regular season, and if coach Brunette can avoid some of the tougher Tampa matchups, the skill, speed, and shooting ability of the Cats should win out. Losing Brayden Point remains a huge hole for the back-to-back champions, and Florida’s forwards should push back on home ice in Game 2 with a more disciplined approach.

 

Lightning vs. Panthers Trends To Know:

  • Lightning are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Lightning are 4-1 in their last 5 overall.
  • Panthers are 46-9 in their last 55 games as a home favorite.
  • Panthers are 4-1 in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite.
  • Over is 4-0 in Lightning last 4 Thursday games.
  • Over is 6-1 in Lightning last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Over is 10-3-1 in Panthers last 14 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Home team is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.

 

Following an uninspiring opening game, look for Florida to bounce back in a big way in Game 2 after feeling out the defending champs.  The Panthers should push the pace 5-on-5, letting their speed and depth win out.  The Bolts don’t possess the quickest defensive group, and if Florida keeps winning the scoring chance battle, Vasilevskiy showed in Round 1 that he can be beaten.  The Cats were the best home-ice team in hockey all season long and have consistently bounced back.  Look for them to do just that in a pivotal Game 2, and back them on the moneyline on Thursday night.

Our Pick
Panthers
Will S. / Author

Will has been working with The Sports Geek since its early days back in 2010. He began as a soccer specialist, focusing on detailed reports for major international competitions, including the World Cup and European Championships. Since then, he has produced weekly pick articles on both the NFL and English Premier League, while also contributing blog posts on the NHL, MLB, and even WWE wrestling. Will is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy player, always eager to share his thoughts and insight on anything going on in the world of sports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.