NHL Playoffs 2022 Tampa Bay vs Florida Odds Game 1 Preview & Predictions

NHL Playoffs 2022: Tampa Bay vs Florida | Odds Game 1 Preview & Predictions

Who says Florida isn’t a hockey hotbed? For the second year in a row, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers will meet in the Stanley Cup playoffs. A trip to the East Finals is on the line and the Panthers are home favorites on the NHL odds for Game 1 on Tuesday.

How to Bet Lightning at Panthers NHL Hockey Odds & TV Info

Season Series

The team split four regular-season meetings. They last played on April 24 at Florida and the Lightning rolled to an 8-4 win. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had two goals and two assists, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots and the Lightning snapped Florida’s franchise-record 13-game winning streak. Victor Hedman had four assists for Tampa Bay, which got two power-play goals and a short-handed tally. Florida’s Spencer Knight left in the second period after allowing five goals on 17 shots, and Sergei Bobrovsky played the final 27 minutes in net for the Panthers.

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The two-time Stanley Cup champions probably should have been eliminated at home in Game 6 of the first round vs. Toronto but rallied to force OT and then win it in overtime despite Toronto largely dominating the action. The Lightning then went to Toronto on Saturday and pulled off a 2-1 upset win to advance.

Nick Paul, a trade deadline acquisition from Ottawa, had both goals in Game 7. His first came before the first intermission and temporarily put the Lightning up 1-0, while his second proved decisive, snapping a 1-1 tie deep in the second period. Anthony Cirelli delivered four blocks and three hits in Saturday’s win. Cirelli isn’t focused on points this postseason — he has one goal in seven playoff games.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30-of-31 attempts. Vasilevskiy had been just so-so for the entire series — allowing at least three goals in each of the first six games — but came through with a performance in Saturday’s Game 7 that should serve as a reminder of how difficult the Lightning are to beat when he’s on his game.

Tampa center Brayden Point, who has led the past two NHL postseason in goals with 14 each, is likely to miss at least Game 1 with an injury suffered in Game 7 vs. the Leafs. Point was not on the ice for Monday’s practice and is officially doubtful. He was chasing a puck toward the side boards in the offensive zone late in the first when Toronto defenseman Mark Giordano made a swipe at the puck. Point’s body twisted awkwardly and his right leg collapsed as he slid into the boards. Point tried to return to the game but was clearly in a lot of pain.

“When Pointer got hurt, it seemed to lock the entire team in and I don’t think we looked back after that,” Coach Jon Cooper said.

Point, who scored the OT game-winner in Game 6 vs. Toronto, had been exceptional on both ends of the ice in Round 1 vs. the Leafs. He anchored a line tasked with neutralizing Toronto top-line threats Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

The Lightning are on a quest to become the first team to win the Cup in three consecutive seasons since the New York Islanders‘ run of four straight championships from 1980-83.

Why Bet on Florida?

The Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy in the regular season by leading the league in points but they were pushed hard in Round 1, beating Washington in six games. The Cats won the finale 4-3 in overtime on Friday in DC. Claude Giroux notched one goal and two assists in Florida’s series-clinching win. Giroux scored his third goal of the first-round series in the third period to tie the game at 2-2. He also set up Aleksander Barkov’s go-ahead goal as well as Carter Verhaeghe’s overtime winner. Giroux has racked up seven points in six games this postseason. He has been a great addition for Florida since he was acquired from Philadelphia.

Originally a game-time decision Friday, Verhaeghe was able to play and he made a huge impact. He helped out on a Giroux tally in the third period, and his linemate returned the favor for the series-clinching goal 2:46 into overtime. Verhaeghe finished the first round with six goals, six assists, 15 shots on net, 11 hits and a plus-8 rating in six appearances.

Aleksander Barkov scored a goal and went plus-2 in Friday’s win. Barkov put the Panthers ahead for the first time in this contest at 14:17 of the third period. The center was solid in six first-round games, posting two goals, four assists, 22 shots on net, eight hits and a plus-8 rating.

Sergei Bobrovsky allowed three goals on 37 shots in the clincher. Bobrovsky was solid and made timely saves in the first round, finishing with a 2.79 goal-against average and .906 save percentage to win the second postseason series when he played more than two games in his 12 NHL seasons (nine seasons in the playoffs).

Defenseman Ben Chiarot is expected to be good to go for Game 1 against Tampa Bay, according to coach Andrew Brunette.  Chiarot temporarily left Friday’s series-clinching win against Washington on Friday, but he was able to return to the contest. He had one assist, 13 shots, 11 blocks and 18 hits in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, Brunette said that Mason Marchment (lower body) is unlikely to play in Game 1. Marchment last played in Game 4 vs. the Caps. He a goal, nine shots on net and 21 hits in the Panthers first four games of the playoffs.

Florida’s win over Washington was the franchise’s first playoff series victory since reaching the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, where they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche.

Game Trends

  • Lightning are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Lightning are 9-4 in their last 13 overall.
  • Panthers are 11-2 in their last 13 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Panthers are 48-11 in their last 59 home games.
  • Panthers are 4-1 in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite.
  • Over is 10-4-1 in the last 15 meetings in Florida.
  • Home team is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.

Expert Prediction: Panthers 4, Lightning 3

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