Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Matchup Preview

betdsiArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two squads on winning streaks, the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning take the ice at Amalie Arena for a divisional tilt. The matchup gets started at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 6, and you can view it live on Fox SportsNet Florida.

Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

With a -185 moneyline, Tampa Bay enters the game as the heavy favorite. The line for Florida sits at +160 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -120 over, +100 under.

Netting 11.7 units for moneyline bettors, the Lightning are 45-21 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked first in the NHL so far in this young season, is a solid improvement compared to what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (42-40). Of the team’s 66 games this season, 42 have gone over the total, while 23 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team’s 22-8 SU at home this year.

Tampa Bay currently touts the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it has scored on 24.3 percent of their extra-man advantages this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 24th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.6 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, Tampa has been penalized 4.1 times per game overall this season, and 5.0 per game over its last five matchups. The team’s had to kill penalties for a whopping 13.8 minutes per game over its last five outings, overall.

With a .926 save percentage and 29.5 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (38-16-3) has been the best goalkeeper for the Lightning this year. If they, however, decide to give him the evening off, the team may turn to Louis Domingue (4-10-10 record, .881 save percentage, 3.82 goals against average).

The Bolts will continue looking for offensive production from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov (85 points) has tallied 33 goals and 52 assists and has recorded two or more points 27 times this year. Stamkos has 27 goals and 50 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 45 games.

On the other side of the rink, Florida is 32-31 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.4 units this year. Through 63 regular season outings, 32 of its games have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and none have pushed. As an away team, Florida is 13-19 SU.

Florida has converted on 19.1 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 21st overall and it’s successfully defended 79.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

Florida’s skaters have been penalized 4.4 times per game this season, 4.0 per game over their past five match ups total, and 4.0 per game over their last five on the road. The team’s been forced to kill penalties a whopping 14.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.

James Reimer (3.16 goals against average and .907 save percentage) has been the main option in goal for Florida. Reimer is averaging 27.8 saves per game and owns a 16-20-5 record.

For the visiting Panthers, the offense will run through Aleksander Barkov (25 goals, 39 assists) and Jonathan Huberdeau (20 goals, 38 assists).

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Free Picks

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • The over has hit in four of Tampa Bay’s last five outings.
  • Florida has attempted 34.2 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 31.0 in its last 10 games.
  • Penalties and power plays could be even more critical than usual in this matchup. The Panthers are 12-15 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 14-18 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Lightning are 23-11 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 26-12 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Three of Tampa Bay’s last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 3-0 in those games and 5-2 overall in shootouts this year.
  • Tampa Bay skaters have averaged 9.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.1 takeaways per game (ranked 17th in the league).
  • Florida has averaged 3.8 goals per game, while giving up just 2.2, over the team’s six-game winning streak.
  • Florida has managed 8.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, its season average of 8.8 takeaways per game (ranked fifth in the NHL).