The Tampa Bay Lightning won their second in a row to take a 2-0 series lead and have the Florida Panthers reeling as they head home to Amalie Arena. The Lightning have outscored the Panthers 6-2 in the series but have been outshot 70-64.
NHL betting lines have the Panthers as slight favorites for Sunday’s Game 3.
Below are NHL betting picks and analysis for the matchup.
Panthers vs. Lightning Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under
Moneyline: Panthers -115 | Lightning -105
Spread: Panthers -1.5 (+200) | Lightning +1.5 (-250)
Total: Over 6.5 (-105) | Under 6.5 (-115)
Panthers vs. Lightning Analysis
Florida had a much better showing in Game 2, but it all fell apart in the final seconds.
MacKenzie Weegar went for a stroll behind the net, leaving Ross Colton open in front to score the game-winning goal with 3.8 seconds left on the clock. Sergei Bobrovsky played much better, making 26 saves on 28 shots. One of Bobrovsky’s stops was a ridiculous glove save with less than five minutes to go in the third period. Eetu Luostarinen scored his first of the playoffs to even the game in the second period.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) May 20, 2022
Florida dominated the game statistically, as the Panthers not only outshot the Lightning but had 17 more hits, six more face-off wins, and three more takeaways.
Meanwhile, the Lightning got their goals from unlikely sources again. Corey Perry opened the scoring in the first period with a powerplay marker and Colton was the hero. The big guns played supporting roles as Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov all had an assist.
Tampa Bay capitalized on their man-advantage where the Panthers couldn’t and blocked 24 shots to Florida’s 14. Andrei Vasilevskiy was solid as usual, saving 35 of 36 shots.
Against the puck line, Florida is 44-46 and 20-24 on the road, while Tampa Bay is 44-47 and 19-25 at home. A couple of trends to watch are the under is 4-0 in the Panthers’ past four when their opponent allows two or fewer in their previous game and the under is 4-0 in Tampa’s past four conference semifinal games.
The Panthers can’t catch a break. They played well and received good goaltending but couldn’t beat Tampa Bay. Still, there’s only so long this Panthers’ offense can stay dormant, right?
Florida will need to get its powerplay going, which is 0-for-7 in the series. I expect the Panthers to win at least one of the two next games and for their chances, of advancing they better make Game 3 the one they win. I thought Florida would at least split wins in the first two games, but now I’m picking them because I think they have value.
Panthers vs. Lightning Predictions
The Picks: Panthers moneyline (-115), Under 6.5 (-115)