May 19, 2022; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Ross Colton (79) celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the third period against the Florida Panthers in game two of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
- The Florida Panthers are slight -115 away favorites over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal series on Sunday, May 22
- Defending Cup champions Tampa Bay lead the best-of-seven series 2-0
- All of the Panthers vs Lightning best bets, odds, picks and predictions are assessed in the story below
Down 2-0 in the series, as they travel to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal, the best bet for the Florida Panthers might be on history repeating itself.
Last season, when these two clubs met in the opening playoff round, Tampa Bay also won Games 1 and 2 at Florida. The Panthers rallied to take Game 3 on the road.
Oddsmakers are backing a repeat performance. It’s the Panthers that are set as slim -115 away favorites to win Game 3. Tampa Bay is 8-1 straight up in the the club’s last nine playoff home games.
Panthers vs Lightning Odds
|Florida Panthers||-1.5 (+205)||O 6.5 (+100)||-115|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1.5 (-250)||U 6.5 (-120)||-105|
Odds as of May 20th at Caesars Sportsbook.
Puck drop is slated for 1:30pm ET on Sunday, May 22 at Amalie Arena. TNT will be providing the broadcast.
Panthers vs Lightning Betting Trends
The NHL betting lines show the Panthers, at their current moneyline odds of -115, are assigned an implied probability of victory of 53.49%.
In the NHL betting trends, the public is staying with Florida. There’s 58% of the bets placed against the spread on the Panthers at -1.5. Meanwhile. the moneyline splits show 58% of the bets are also on the Panthers at -115 odds. Despite a 2-1 score in Game 2, 84% of the public bets are on the Over (6.5) for Game 3.
ROSS COLTON BUZZER BEATER
The Lightning take a 2-0 series lead pic.twitter.com/FOpNvNDCek
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) May 20, 2022
Ross Colton’s Game 2 winner at 19:56 of the third period was only the seventh-latest, game-deciding, regulation-time goal in Stanley Cup history. It was the fifth goal of the playoffs for Lightning forward Colton.
Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov (7-14-21) figured in a game-winning goal in the NHL playoffs for the 21st time. Only Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (25) has done this more often among active players.
Panthers vs Lightning Recent Results
|11/13/2021||Tampa Bay 3 Florida 2 (OT)||TB||FLA||Under|
|12/30/2021||Florida 9 Tampa Bay 3||FLA||FLA||Over|
|4/24/2022||Florida 4 Tampa Bay 8||TB||TB||Over|
|5/17/2022||Florida 1 Tampa Bay 4||TB||TB||Under|
|5/19/2021||Florida 1 Tampa Bay 2||TB||TB||Under|
Florida led the NHL in goals per game during the regular season. The Panthers scored 4.11 goals per game. However, in the playoffs they are ranking 12th out of 16 teams at 2.75 gpg. Florida has two goals in two games against the Lightning.
The Panthers have been STRUGGLING on the power play during the playoffs. 😳 pic.twitter.com/ii7Pt6ZzcQ
— theScore Bet (@theScoreBet) May 20, 2022
Special teams are burying the Panthers in the playoffs. Florida is 0-for-25 on the power play. The Panthers are also a dismal 66.7% on the penalty kill. That’s playing with fire against a Tampa Bay power play that’s clicking at 26.2%.
Across the leading sportsbooks, Tampa Bay is the #2 pick in the Stanley Cup odds at +425. Florida is at a betting line of +900.
Florida vs Tampa Bay Injury Report
Florida coach Andrew Brunette is confirming that forward Mason Marchment (lower-body) is out for Games 3 and 4 of this series. Marchment hasn’t played since Game 4 of the opening round against Washington. Defenseman Markus Nutivaara (lower-body) is out for the Panthers.
Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said it doesn’t look like Mason Marchment (lower body) will be available for Games 3 or 4.
Then they’ll see after that.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) May 20, 2022
Tampa Bay forwards Brandon Hagel (lower-body) and Brayden Point (lower-body) are both listed as questionable for Game 3. Defenseman Brent Seabrook (shoulder) is out.
Vasilevskiy Dominant In Round 2
Since his Stanley Cup debut in 2015, Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy shows a 14-3 record in 19 appearances during the Second Round of the playoffs. He’s showing a 1.91 goals-against average, a .934 save percentage and one shutout in Round 2 play.
Since @TBLightning faced elimination in Game 6 vs Leafs, Andrei Vasilevskiy has stopped 128 of 134 shots (.955 save percentage). A .970 save percentage the last three (one goal apiece). “He’s the best player in the league,” Mikhail Sergachev says.
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) May 20, 2022
The Lightning goaltender has never suffered more than one loss in any Second Round series.
Panthers vs Lightning Projected Starting Goalies
Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovskiy lost consecutive decisions for just the third time since Dec. 29. Since opening 4-0 against Tampa Bay in the playoffs, Bobrovsky is 1-4 against the Lightning over his last five postseason games.
It’s an uphill climb, but Bobrovsky playing as well as he is right now should give fans faith the Panthers can get out of this 0-2 series hole.
“It’s a good challenge for us,” Bob said. “The whole year we’ve been fighting. We found a way to come back from adversities.”
— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) May 20, 2022
Bobrovsky led the NHL this season with 39 wins. However, he’s 6-12 in his last 18 playoff decisions.
Lightning vs Panthers Game 3 Prediction
When a Stanley cup champion leads a playoff series 2-0, they are 68-3 all-time. If Florida is going to make a series of this, the Panthers need to straighten out what was the NHL’s #5 power play (24.4%) during the regular season.
Tampa Bay has won three in a row from Florida. That’s the longest streak by the Lightning over the Panthers since a six-game run in 2018-19. But Florida is 3-3 straight up in the last six games between the two teams played at Amalie Arena.
Pick: Florida Panthers ML (-115)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.