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Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Prediction: 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Bet Picks Preview

Posted: May 15, 2021Last updated: May 15, 2021

Here are The Game Day’s Panthers vs Lightning prediction and bets for the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in our Florida-New York Round 1 series preview. Read for Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning betting tips.

Check out our 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Power Rankings and 2021 Stanley Cup Winner Odds and Best Bets.

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Prediction: 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Bet Picks Preview

Florida Panthers Season Recap

The Florida Panthers, the two-seed in the Central Division, wound up with 79 points on the season, a total that would have gotten them the top seed in two NHL divisions. They trailed the Carolina Hurricanes by only one point in the standings. The Panthers had an up and down season but finished the regular season off by putting together a six-game winning streak. They are one of the best teams in the league and if they can continue their hot streak, they will be able to keep up with Tampa Bay’s dynamic offense.

Left winger Jonathan Huberdeau and center Aleksander Barkov are superstars in this league and played as such in the 2020-2021 season. Huberdeau posted 61 points with Barkov putting up 58 of his own. This duo represents one of the highest-scoring offensive pairs in the entire league and the Lightning will absolutely have their hands full. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is a formidable force in his own right, allowing 2.91 goals per game with a .906 save percentage.

Tampa Bay Lightning Season Recap

The Tampa Bay Lightning are always known for their up-tempo offensive play and their ability to put pucks in the net. They will be meeting their offensive match in the Florida Panthers and this could wind up a massive shootout.

Center Brayden Point (48 points), left winger Ondrej Palat (46 points), and center Yanni Gourde (36 points) lead the offensive charge for Tampa Bay. However, Palat and Victor Hedman, a defenseman with the third-leading point total on the team, are both a tad banged up heading into this series.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the best goalies in the league this season, posted 1,144 saves at a .925 clip, allowing just 2.21 goals per game. This is beyond impressive, especially coming from a 26-year-old. The Lightning were 31-10 when Vasilevskiy started in 2020-2021.

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Matchup

This series will be one that pits two high-powered offenses against one another and the winner will likely end up being the team that can get the best goaltending play. The Lightning have the edge in this area and it could notch them the victory despite a lower seeding.

Florida finished the year with a +36 goal differential with the Lightning ending the season with a +34. Doesn’t get any closer than that.

Both teams are constructed very similarly which should make this series one of the more interesting ones to watch.

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Prediction & Bet Pick

Panthers vs Lightning Series Prediction

Tampa Bay Lightning in 7 games

Panthers vs Lightning Bet Pick

Tampa Bay Lightning to win series (-140) at BetMGM

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Panthers vs Lightning Bet Pick Analysis

This is a series too good to end early. I could see it going either six or seven games, but a sweep or five-game series in either direction would be a clear-cut shocker. As I mentioned, this series will come down to who gets the better play from the goalie and the Lightning have a built-in edge in that area.

Author

Daniel Preciado

Daniel is a current student at Syracuse University in the sports analytics program where he is minoring in economics and cognitive science. He is an occasional guest speaker for the Society of American Baseball Research and is a yearly participant in numerous high-stakes fantasy leagues across multiple sports. Prior to joining The Game Day, Daniel has written for Prospects Live, Fantrax, FanSided, and countless Dodgers blogs.

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