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Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3 – Breakdown and Prediction

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Game 3: Eastern Conference Playoffs – First Round

The series between the two teams from Florida is tied at one game apiece which makes Game 3 of the Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lighning series very interesting. The game takes place on Thursday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

The Panthers are off to a good start

The Florida Panthers have been among the top teams in the Eastern Conference for a while now, but they are yet to make a significant success in the playoffs. Winning Game 1 of the series against the Lightning was the first time since 1997 for the Panthers to have a 1-0 lead in the opening playoff round and they managed to build on that one in Game 2. The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the first period, with Sam Bennett and Vladimir Tarasenko scoring early on, but still had to go to overtime to get the job done. Carter Verheaghe was the hero for the Panthers, scoring three minutes into overtime for a 2-0 series lead.

The Lightning should not be underestimated

Just as we have been used to in the last couple of seasons, the Tampa Bay Lightning came into the playoffs far from the top of the Eastern Conference and still managed to go deep in the playoffs but they will have to pick up their game tonight in order to keep their chances for another run. The Lightning came back from being a couple of goals down in Game 2 as Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos tied the game in the second period. Still, they fell just short in overtime and are now going back home, 2-0 down in the series.

Betting Trends

10 of the last 13 games overall between these two teams and 8 of the last 9 played in Tampa have ended under the total goal line. Florida has stayed under in 7 of their last 8 games overall and in 6 of the last 7 games against teams from the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay has played under in 6 of the last 9 games against teams from the Atlantic Division.

Prediction and Conclusion

The Florida Panthers have a 2-0 lead against their state rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the upcoming playoff round, but things are far from done in this series. Both of the previous games could easily go the other way as the Lightning showed up ready. Nikita Kucherov did not play his best hockey in the first two games, and we can expect him to prove why he led the NHL in points in the regular season. This game is basically a must-win for the Lightning, and they will prove they are still a team to watch with a comfortable win tonight.

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