November 6, 2016

NHL Hockey Betting: Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers&h=253&w=372&zc=1

The Tampa Bay Lightning head South down to the Miami area to take on the Florida Panthers. The Lightning have been in decent form so far this season with a record of 7-4-1 for 15 points. They’re just 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, however, and although they’re in second place in the Atlantic Division they’re still looking up at the first place Montreal Canadiens whom they trail by six points. The Florida Panthers are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and currently in last place in the Atlantic Division. The good news for the Panthers is that after you get past Montreal the division is very tightly packed–for example, there’s only four points separating the second place Lightning and the last place Panthers. Tampa Bay is coming off a 4-1 home win over New Jersey on Saturday night while the Panthers lost 4-2 at Washington in their last action.

Neither team has confirmed their starting goalies for this game but the starter for each team has been ‘penciled in’. It’ll likely be Ben Bishop for Tampa Bay and Roberto Luongo for Florida. Luongo isn’t having a great season so far though that likely has more to do with his team’s poor play in front of him than any personal issue. He’s still as good as ever as evidenced by a couple of sick glove saves on Alex Ovechkin’s usually unstoppable slapshot from the left point in Sunday’s game. Bishop has a better W/L record but his numbers aren’t quite as good–he’s at 5-3-0 with a 3.01 goals against average and a 0.904 save percentage.

Head to head, this has been a very even series in recent years. The teams have split the last 10 meetings head to head with Florida winning 3 of 4 at home. Since the start of the 2015-2016 season the Panthers have won 4 of 6 meetings though Tampa Bay took a 4-3 victory in the only matchup so far this season. Several injury questions for both teams–Tampa Bay has forward Jonathan Drouin listed as ‘questionable’ while Florida has the legendary Jaromir Jagr and Jussi Jokinen listed as questionable. This looks like a good spot to back the home team who might catch the Bolts focused on upcoming home games against the Islanders and San Jose.