Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#43 Tampa Bay Lightning 6.5 vs.
#44 Florida Panthers -115
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
BB&T Center, Sunrise
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of Atlantic Division rivals from the Sunshine State square off with one another on the ice. The Tampa Bay Lightning is on the road as they travel within the state to face the Florida Panthers Tuesday night. Tampa Bay trounced San Jose 7-1 at home Saturday night in their previous contest: they faced the Islanders at home Monday night. Florida dropped San Jose 5-1 at home in their last game on Sunday night. The Lightning has won eight of the last 10 meetings but the teams split two matchups earlier this season. After Tampa Bay prevailed 5-2 at home on October 3, Florida earned a 4-3 win in the most recent meeting, which came at home on October 5.

Tampa Bay Lightning Seeking Win in Second Game of Back to Back

Tampa Bay had dropped four of five before clobbering San Jose at home Saturday night. The Lightning entered Monday sixth in the Atlantic Division, 15 points behind Boston for the division lead and three points back of Buffalo for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the division. Tampa Bay is 1st in the league in scoring as they average 3.74 goals per contest. The Lightning is 23rd in scoring defense as they allow 3.22 goals per game this season. Tampa Bay is 2nd on the power play as they convert 30 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Lightning stands tied for 18th in penalty killing as they successfully work through 79.3 percent of their shorthanded situations this season.

In their last game, Tampa Bay got their offense going and they buried the Sharks at home to get back on track. The Lightning weathered an early storm as they were outshot 15-10 in the opening period but took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room. Tyler Johnson gave Tampa Bay the early lead with his sixth of the year at 3:10 off an assist from Carter Verhaeghe to open the scoring. The second period saw the Lightning outshot 15-8 but they outscored San Jose 2-0 to open a 3-0 advantage. Alex Killorn made it a 2-0 game with his eighth of the year at 12:29 off assists from Anthony Cirelli and Jan Rutta. Steven Stamkos extended the lead to 3-0 with a power play goal, his eighth of the year, at 19:33 off assists from Victor Hedman and Killorn. That set the stage for an explosive third period of action.

In the final period, the Lightning outshot the Sharks 19-8 and outscored San Jose 4-1 to turn the game into a romp. Hedman scored his seventh of the year at the 52 second mark off assists from Cirelli and Killorn to give Tampa Bay a 4-0 lead. Johnson scored his second of the game and seventh of the year at the 3:51 mark off assists from Stamkos and Verhaeghe to make it 5-0. After the Sharks got on the board, Stamkos scored his second of the night and ninth of the year, on the power play, at 15:36 off assists from Killorn and Hedman to build a 6-1 edge. Verhaeghe closed the scoring with his first of the year at 19:35 off assists from Patrick Maroon and Yanni Gourde. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 37 saves for the Lightning in the win as the shots were even at 38. Curtis McElhinney could get the start in net for this contest.

Florida Panthers Seek Third Straight Win

Florida won their second straight after losing four of their previous five games as they dumped San Jose, who was playing the second game of a back to back situation. The Panthers enter this game second in the Atlantic Division, 11 points behind Boston for the top spot. Florida is 4th in the league in scoring as they average 3.52 goals per contest this season. The Panthers have had their issues defensively, ranking 27th by allowing 3.31 goals per contest. Florida is 6th in power play success as they convert 24.2 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Panthers are tied for 4th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 84.7 percent of their shorthanded situations on the year.

In their last game, Florida took advantage of a tired San Jose team playing the second game of a back to back to earn the win. The Panthers held a 12-9 edge in shots in the opening period and took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Keith Yandle opened the scoring with his third of the year, on the power play, at 4:31 off assists from Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. Barkov extended the lead to 2-0 with his 10th of the season at 8:15 off assists from Evgenii Dadonov and Huberdeau before the Sharks got one back later in the period. The second period saw the Panthers outshot 12-10 but they scored the lone goal of the period. Michael Matheson extended the lead to 3-1 with his first of the season off assists from Aaron Ekblad and Frank Vatrano at the 6:32 mark. In the final period, Florida held an 11-10 edge in shots and a 2-0 edge on the scoreboard to earn the win. Brett Connolly scored his 14th of the year at 10:19, on the power play, off assists from Mike Hoffman and Yandle to make it a 4-1 game. Vatrano closed the scoring with his seventh of the year at 18:31 off assists from Mackenzie Weegar and Ekblad into an empty net. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves for the Panthers, who held a 33-31 edge in shots in the game.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Both teams are logging their third game in four nights here as Florida played Saturday and Sunday while Tampa Bay played Monday and here. The Lightning has to deal with having to play the second game of a back to back here, which is going to test them. Florida has some momentum with back to back wins and they are at home. The Panthers beat the Lightning in the first meeting here this season. Florida is playing solid hockey of late and Bobrovsky has been better of late after a sluggish start to the season. Give the Panthers the advantage in this contest.

Prediction: Florida Panthers -110

Full-Game Total Pick

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Tampa Bay has been explosive at home but they have been slowed down a bit on the road this season. The Lightning is 7-5-2 on the road this season with a -2 goal differential (47-45) while being outshot by 76 (472-396) in those games. Tampa Bay has seen an average of 6.57 goals per game on the road this season. Florida is 9-4-2 at home on the year. The Panthers holds a +11 goal differential (56-45) and a +56 shot differential (521-465) this season. That's an average of 6.73 goals per game at home for Florida this season. Will we see another high-octane matchup here?

The Lightning is playing the second game of a back to back situation here. Tyler Johnson is out for both games and that is going to take a talented piece out of the mix for Tampa Bay. With both teams playing their third game in four nights, there's going to be some heavy legs on both sides in this one. Look for a lot of dump and chase hockey that keeps this one under the mark.

Prediction: Under 6.5

Half-Time Side Pick

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Tampa Bay has been solid on the road early on in games this season. The Lightning has held the lead in nine of their 14 games after the first period on the road this season. Tampa Bay has trailed after one period five times and has yet to be tied after 20 minutes on the road this year. Florida has held the lead in seven of their home games this season. The Panthers have been tied five times after 20 minutes, meaning they have trailed after one period only three times. That, coupled with the day of rest Monday while Tampa Bay was in action, then traveling, gives the Panthers the edge after one.

Prediction: 1st Period Florida Panthers

Half-Time Total Bet

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Tampa Bay has been very good in the opening period of their road games this season. The Lightning owns a +11 edge (18-7) despite being outshot by 22 in the first period on the road on the year. Tampa Bay has seen 25 goals on the road in the first period, which is an average of 1.79 goals per game in the first period. Florida has a +3 goal differential (16-13) at home in the first period this season along with a +21 (153-132) shot differential. The Panthers have seen 29 first period goals at home this season, that's an average of 1.93 goals per game in the opening 20 minutes. Look for this one to fall short of the total.

Prediction: 1st Period Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.