NHL Betting Prediction: Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The Tampa Bay Lightning earned a much-needed victory Friday on Steven Stamkos’ overtime goal and will try for the home-and-home sweep when the Florida Panthers visit on Saturday night.
The Lightning registered five points in three games at Florida this season, but dropped a 7-4 decision against the Southeast-Division leading Panthers in the only game in Tampa. After Saturday, the rivals meet only one more time – Feb. 4 in Tampa.
Vincent Lecavalier has four goals in as many games for the Lightning, who had won just one of five contests before they snapped Florida’s three-game win streak. Florida has collected at least a point in five of its last six games at Tampa.
Florida Panthers (12-6-4): The injury list continues to grow as Tomas Kopecky missed his first game Friday with back spasms, but the Panthers are giving themselves a chance to win every night. In addition to their top line of Tomas Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss and Kris Versteeg, they are getting plenty of offense from their defense. Brian Campbell, Dmitry Kulikov and Jason Garrison all have at least 12 points. Campbell is tied for the top spot in the NHL in points (19) and Garrison leads in goals (8) among defensemen.
Tampa Bay Lightning (10-9-2): Tampa Bay recalled wing Dana Tyrell from the American Hockey League Wednesday and he added a spark, reuniting with linemates Nate Thompson and Adam Hall. Tyrell play 78 games for the Lightning last season and scored six goals. Tyrell took the place of Steve Downie, who missed his first game of the season with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Victor Hedman played a career-high 29:11 Friday, paired primarily with Eric Brewer. Martin St. Louis had two assists to move within four of 800 points for his career.
Stamkos’ winner was the Lightning’s
first 4-on-3 goal of the season.
2. The Panthers were 0-for-4 on the power play Friday, but are 8-for-21 on the season against the Lightning.
3. Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon won his first game since Oct. 25 on Friday.
NHL PREDICTION: Lightning 4, Panthers 1
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