Tampa Bay Lightning (9-3 SU, 6-6 PL, 7-5-0 O/U) vs Florida Panthers (4-6 SU, 5-5 PL, 8-2-0 O/U)
When: 7:05 PM EDT, Monday, October 30, 2017
Where: BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida
Lines: Tampa Bay -119/ Florida +108
A pair of Atlantic Division foes will square off this evening as the Tampa Bay Lightning battle it out with the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Lightning come in off a 4-1 home loss to Anaheim, while the Panthers are off a 3-2 shootout loss to Detroit at home. Goalie Probables: Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the nod for the Lightning in this one, while the Panthers will be sending out James Reimer.
Lightning Get Plucked By Ducks
The Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten off to a great start this year and they lead the Atlantic Division with a 9-3 record, but they come into this game off a tough 4-1 home loss to the Ducks. The offense has not been a problem for this team and they were taking on an Anaheim team that had just allowed eight goals in a loss to the Panthers, but the Lightning just couldn’t get their own offense going as they scored just the one goal in the loss. Scoring that goal was Chris Kunitz, which was his 2nd of the year. The Bolts had won their previous four games in a row and they outscored their foes 17-4 over that stretch. This been the best team in the Atlantic Division so far and they look to keep it rolling in this one against a struggling Panthers squad. Peter Budaj had a rough outing as he allowed four goals on just 21 shots in the loss to the Ducks. He is now 0-2 with a 4.00 GAA on the year. Andrei Vasilevskiy should be back in the crease for this one and he has gone 9-1 with a 2.20 GAA on the year, including 3-1 with a 2.02 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 20-25 with a 2.51 GAA on the road and 11-2 with a 2.17 GAA during the month of October, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 22-15 with a 2.28 GAA, including 3-4 with a 2.81 GAA against the Panthers.
Tampa Bay comes in ranked 4th in the league in scoring at 3.75 gpg, while also ranking 19th in shots taken (30.9 spg) and 2nd in power play conversions, converting on 28.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 6th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.50 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots allowed (33.3 spg) and 21st in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.8% of their chances.
Slow Start Continues For Panthers
The Florida Panthers are off to a slow start this year and they have lost five of their last seven games after falling by a score of 3-2 at home to the Red Wings. That was a bad loss as the Wings had lost their previous six games in a row. Those are the kind of losses that can hurt a team at the end of the year, especially if they are in the race for a playoff spot. The Panthers just can’t seem to get going and now they have to try and get on track vs the best team in the Atlantic Division right now. Scoring in the loss to the Red Wings was Jonathan Huberdeau, which was his 4th of the year and Evgenii Dadonov, which was his 5th of the year and that currently leads the team. Taking the loss for the Panthers against the Red Wings was James Reimer, and he stopped 36 of the 38 shots that he faced, but it wasn’t enough and he is now 3-4 on the year with a 3.19 GAA, including 2-2 with a 2.75 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 54-59 with a 2.65 GAA in his home games and 15-10 with a 2.69 GAA during the month of October, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 30-44 with a 2.92 GAA and he is 5-8 with a 2.82 GAA against the Lightning.
Florida enters this contest ranked 6th in the league in scoring at 3.50 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (35.8 spg) and 13th in power play conversions, converting on 18.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have not been that good as they come in ranked 24th in goals allowed, giving up 3.50 gpg, while also ranking 31st in shots allowed (36.4 spg) and 29th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.6% of their chances.
Tampa Bay is:
- The Over is 9-3 in their last 12 vs. the Eastern Conference
- The Over is 8-3 in their last 11 following a loss of three or more goals
- The Over is 8-2 in their last 10 overall
- The Over is 11-4-1 in their last 16 vs. a team with a winning % above .600
The Tampa Bay Lighting come in off a rather bad 4-1 home loss to the Ducks, who these Panthers just beat 8-3. The Lightning have been a strong team on offense this year, but that offense just didn’t show up in their loss to the Ducks. Well, I expect it to here against James Reimer, who has a 3.19 GAA on the year, including a 2.75 GAA here at home. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been solid for the Bolts so far, but he has a 2.81 GAA in his career against the Panthers and Florida is ranked 6th in the league in scoring at 3.50 gpg. I look for both offenses to have some fun in this one as we get at least seven goals scored.