The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning will face off for Game 2 tonight from FLA Live Arena, which should see a higher pace than we saw in Game 1.
Below, you can look at the loan Eastern Conference game on tonight’s NHL slate and at some of our best bets on the FanDuel Sportsbook.Tampa Bay Lightning (+134) vs Florida Panthers (-162) Total: 6.5 (O-118/U-104)
The Tampa Bay Lightning came out on top in Game 1 thanks to a dominant showing from Nikita Kucherov, who finished the game with one goal and one assist in 22:20. This was the first time this postseason where we’ve seen the star winger look like himself and he showed how good he can be when he’s on his game.
There wasn’t a lot to like about Florida’s effort in Game 1, much like their series opener against Washington, which they also lost before they bounced back to take Game 2.
After being the highest-scoring team during the regular season, there seems to be something not clicking for the Panthers in the postseason and that likely has to do with teams clogging the neutral zone against them and not letting them get chances off the rush, which is something they did extremely well this year.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov have been far too quiet for the type of talent they bring to the table, even if they’re banged up. Many are playing hurt at this time of the year and there’s certainly another level these two stars can go to. The Panthers aren’t going to be able to keep up with this uber-talented Lightning team if all they can rely on is their bottom-six forward group to score. During the regular season when these two clubs faced off and Florida picked up two wins in the four meetings, both of those victories were by multiple goals, so look for that trend to continue tonight and back the Panthers on the puckline at +152.
The total might seem high after seeing a rather dull Game 1 where the Lightning ultimately came out on top 4-1. There’s certainly a potential for there to be fireworks but if both teams are playing more cautious than in the regular season and didn’t want to trade chances. Under 6.5 is a solid value tonight at +102.
Best Bets: Panthers puckline -1.5 (+146), Under 6.5 (-104)