Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight (30) defends the net against the Dallas Stars during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, May 3, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
- Oddsmakers are listing both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers at odds of -108 to win Game 5 of their Stanley Cup first-round series on Monday, May 24th
- The Lightning are on the road and lead the best-of-seven set 3-1
- See below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
In the Stanley Cup battle for Sunshine State bragging rights, the Tampa Bay Lightning are striking and the Florida Panthers are an endangered species on the brink of extinction.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning are away for Game 5, but hold a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven Central Division semi-final series. Tampa Bay has won both road games in the series.
Oddsmakers aren’t touting either club as the one to beat as they prepare to meet on Monday. Three of the four games in this series have gone over, while B=both the Lightning and Panthers are given similar -108 odds in the moneyline at DraftKings.
Lightning vs Panthers Odds – Game 5
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-108||-1.5 (+220)||O 6.0 (-106)|
|Florida Panthers||-108||+1.5 (-278)||U 6.0 (-115)|
Odds as of May 23rd
Game time Monday is 8pm ET at the BB&T Center. CNBC is carrying the broadcast.
Monday Knight Debut?
While Panthers coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t about to tip his hand, during Sunday’s practice rookie goalie Spencer Knight was occupying what is traditionally the starting goalie’s net. Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Driedger shared the other net. Knight, Florida’s 2019 first-round draft pick hasn’t suited up for any of the first four games in this series.
Bobrovsky made the start for Florida in a 6-2 loss in Game 4. He was pulled in favor of Driedger at 7:15 of the second after allowing five goals on 14 shots.
Panthers goalie Spencer Knight a future hall-of-famer?
MacKenzie Weegar says he talked about it with his teammates, compares him to Carey Price, and “can’t wait to play in front of him.”
Will it finally happen vs. Lightning down 3-1 in series? pic.twitter.com/uKOeaT3Y2Y
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) May 23, 2021
Driedger started Game 3, but gave way to Bobrovsky in the second period after allowing five goals on 12 shots. Florida was able to rally for a 6-5 overtime victory.
Knight went 4-0-0 with a 2.32 GAA and .919 save percentage in four games after turning pro March 31st following completion of his season at Boston College. He also backstopped Team USA to the world junior championship, posting a tournament record-tying three shutouts in the process.
Lightning vs Panthers Series Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1250|
Injury Concerns For Lightning
Two key players for the Lightning could be missing in action for Game 5. Forward Nikita Kucherov, the Stanley Cup scoring leader with nine points (3-6-9), and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev both were hurt in Game 4 and their status for Game 5 remains uncertain.
Kucherov left the contest after he was slashed on the left leg by Panthers forward Anthony Duclair midway through the third period. Duclair was assessed a minor penalty on the play. Kucherov contributed a goal and three assists to Tampa Bay’s Game 4 triumph.
Duclair chops Kucherov in the back of the leg, and the Lightning winger is hurting pic.twitter.com/WR4fjwD5wj
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 22, 2021
With just over three minutes left in the third frame, Sergachev departed after he was bodied hard into the boards by Panthers forward Patric Hornqvist. Sergachev looked as though he was favoring his left arm as he went off the ice. Sergachev has just one assist in the series, but accounted for 30 points (4-26) during regular-season play.
The status of forward Barclay Goodrow, who’s missed the entire series with an upper-body injury, also remains uncertain.
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Tampa Bay is being given -1250 odds to win this series. The Lightning are 10-0 all-time in series when they’ve led 3-1.
Lightning forward Alex Killorn (2-2-4) also produced a four-point effort in the Game 4 win. Things got really nasty in the third period of Game 4. The two teams combined for 68 penalty minutes.
Fantastic feed, Jonathan Huberdeau! 😲 #StanleyCup @JonnyHuby11 | @FlaPanthers pic.twitter.com/PJf31D73tq
— NHL (@NHL) May 17, 2021
Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau shows 2-6-8 numbers for the series, including three multi-point games.
Tampa Bay is an impressive 46.7% (7-for-15) on the power play during this series. Florida is 5-for-15 (33.3%) with the man advantage. That ranks the Lightning and Panthers 1-2 on the power play during the playoffs.
Veteran Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle has been a healthy scratch for the past two games. It’s the first time since 2009 that he’s been scratched from games.
Ondrej Palat scored his 34th career postseason goal to give the @TBLightning a 3-1 lead, eclipsing Martin St. Louis (33) for the second most in franchise history behind teammate Nikita Kucherov (38). #StanleyCup#NHLStats: https://t.co/vINf9oY8tu pic.twitter.com/KZRhzv6AjT
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 22, 2021
Florida has never rallied from 2-0 or 3-1 series deficits in franchise history. The Panthers haven’t won a playoff series since beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1996 Eastern Conference final.
Tampa Bay has never lost a playoff series after winning the first two games. Favorites have won 21 of the past 28 Lightning-Panthers games.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (-108)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.