Panthers vs. Lightning Game 3 Prediction
The Lightning took both games of their divisional round semifinals matchups in Sunrise, FL and with the series now shifting to Tampa on Thursday night, the Bolts will look to take a commanding lead. Are the Lightning a safe bet as money line favorites?
033 Florida Panthers (+125) at 034 Tampa Bay Lightning (-145); o/u 5.5
6:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 20, 2021
Venue: Amalie arena, Tampa, FL
Florida Panthers DFS Spin
Chris Driedger allowed two goals on 28 shots during Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of their first-round series. Driedger became the first goaltender in NHL history to make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut on his birthday, but he couldn't get his team a win. It's tough for any goalie to beat the Lightning when your team only manages to score one goal on them. It'll be very interesting to see if the Panthers go back to Sergei Bobrovsky or if they stick with Driedger in Game 3. They could also use rookie Spencer Knight, but going to him down 2-0 in a series against the defending Stanley Cup Champions would be difficult. Game 3 will be played in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Tampa Bay Lightning DFS Spin
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 32 of 33 shots during Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of their first-round series. The Bolts spotted their all-star netminder a 2-0 lead in the first period and that's all he needed to lock it down. The Panthers fired 13 shots on Vasilevskiy in the third period and he was able to turn them all away. The 26-year-old now has a perfect 2-0 record this postseason. The Lightning are off to a terrific start in the playoffs, as they'll head home with a 2-0 advantage in this best-of-seven series. It's going to be tough for Florida to get back into this series if Vasilevskiy keeps playing this way. Game 3 will be played at 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night.
Panthers vs. Lighting Game 3 NHL Prediction
The Panthers are 7-19 in their last 26 games in Tampa and have dropped 14 of their last 20 games versus the Lightning overall. The favorite has also won 20 of the last 26 meetings between these two teams, while the Panthers are 1-8 in their last nine playoff games as an underdog.
NHL PLAYOFF PREDICTION: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING -145