Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Lightning vs Panthers NHL Odds
Looking for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers free hockey plays & NHL Odds? NHL betting sees the Lightning taking on the Panthers on Saturday December 1st at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey games all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions like this Lightning Panthers matchup.
(18-7-1) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers (9-10-4)
Date: Saturday, December 1st
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Lightning -115
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds: +/-1.5
NHL Betting Total: 6
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The Battle of Florida ensues on the ice over the weekend; decades ago we would’ve seen the irony in this but in the modern world, a Florida team is one of the marquee names in the sport. The Bolts, tops in the Eastern Conference, travel to the Atlantic coast to take on the Panthers in suburban Miami. It looks like Tampa should win in a runaway, but there’s always more than meets the eye in a rivalry game.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning are cruising so far this year, like everyone predicted they would. They are coming off a narrow one-goal victory against the hottest team in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres. Most players are good on Tampa, but the duo of Brayden Point (18 goals) and Nikita Kucherov (10 goals, 25 assists) has been especially potent.
Executive (and former legendary captain himself) Steve Yzerman has built a formidable hockey machine on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It’s crazy to think that possible future Hall of Famer Steven Stamkos now provides secondary scoring on this club – at 28 years old and squarely in his prime – but he does. That is how deep and balanced Tampa is, which is buttressed of course with strong goaltending from Andrei Vasilevskiy. Try and spell that one five times fast.
As good as Vasilevskiy has been for the visitors, the home side has been snakebitten by the lack of a steady goalie. Cagey veteran Roberto Luongo went down with injury some time ago, and the role has not been capably filled by James Reimer and Michael Hutchinson. In fact, the Panthers are sucking the hind tit in the Atlantic division because nobody can stop a puck (goals against ranks 28th in the NHL).
If the Panthers are to find some success Saturday night, they’ll need to get a potentially strong offense fired up with the likes of Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Ottawa cast-off Mike Hoffman. Winger Evgenii Dadonov (there’s lots of Russian impact players in this contest) has also been lighting it up, second on the team with 23 points. Stay-at-home blueliner Aaron Ekblad has been hot lately also.
NHL Betting Trends:
- Lightning are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Panthers are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
- Panthers are 1-6 in their last 7 Saturday games.
- Lightning are 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Free Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers NHL Prediction:
There could definitely be some goals scored in this one, but the Bolts are just too strong to predict anything other than a win for the visitors. Florida should surely come out jumping on its home ice, but the aforementioned depth of Tampa Bay is likely just too much for the team in the divisional cellar to deal with.
Look for Tampa’s top line to make hay against a decidedly substandard goaltending department for Florida.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: OVER
NHL Free Score Prediction: Tampa Bay 5 – Florida 3
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