Stanley Cup Playoffs: Lightning vs Panthers Game 5 betting preview

By: Quinn Allen
29 Apr 24
NHL
News - NHL
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Lightning vs Panthers Game 5 betting preview

After managing to win one in Game 4, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to keep it rolling in Game 5 of their first round playoff series with the Florida Panthers on Monday. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 PM ET at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, the home of the Cats. Tampa won on Saturday by a score of 6-3, cutting the series deficit to 3-1. It will be a long way back and as we know, the Panthers are one of the best teams in this postseason.

Highlights

  • The Lightning and Panthers meet in Game 5 on Monday
  • Florida is once again the favorite
  • We’ll preview the game below

What’s happened so far?

The Panthers, the top seed out of the Atlantic Division, cruised up until Game 4. But, it wasn’t exactly three lopsided victories. Games 1 and 2 ended with 3-2 scorelines, while Game 3 was just 5-3. The Bolts have stayed competitive and finally found their breakthrough in Game 5 with a big 6-3 victory, with Steven Stamkos leading the way. The series now shifts back to Florida’s home arena.

Tampa Bay Lightning

This was always going to be a difficult series for the Bolts. Despite beating the Cats in their two previous playoff meetings, Florida is a different team this season. Sure, Tampa is in a 3-1 hole which is not ideal but at least they gained some momentum on Saturday to stay alive and force a Game 5. Steven Stamkos and Brandon Hagel led the way with two goals apiece, while NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov had three assists. Brayden Point, a key cog for the Lightning, also had a goal and two helpers.

Jon Cooper’s squad took a 3-0 lead in the first but allowed Florida to claw their way back in the second, heading into the final period with just a 4-3 lead. However, the Bolts pulled away with two more goals to seal the deal on home ice, giving their fans some hope in the process. One of the biggest takeaways here is the fact Tampa beat Sergei Bobrovsky six times. We’re talking about a Vezina Trophy winner and the best blue line in the league. The Lightning offense showed up and performed.

That being said, the Bolts must be prepared for a bounce-back outing from the Cats, who are a resilient group. They will also be hungry to end this series on home ice. The likes of Stamkos, Kucherov, Point, and Hagel must bring their best again. It would also be nice if Kucherov got on the scoresheet as he’s yet to score in the series. Tampa is an underdog at all NHL sportsbooks.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers are one of the Stanley Cup favorites and for good reason. Aside from beating out the Boston Bruins for the Atlantic Division title, this is a group that was in the Finals last season but fell to the Vegas Golden Knights. You better believe Florida is biting at the bit to get back there and reach the Promised Land this time.

The Cats are led by Sam Reinhart, but Matthew Tkachuk has been their best player in the playoffs so far. The former Calgary Flames star has seven points, including three goals and four assists. Carter Verhaeghe also has six points, contributing three goals and three helpers. While the Panthers did put themselves in an early hole in Game 4, they did show some guts in the second, with Verhaeghe, Reinhart, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson all scoring. It was just too little too late.

Nevertheless, this now gives Florida the opportunity to advance at Amerant Bank Arena. By the looks of it, the Bruins will be their next opponent because they currently lead the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 in their first round matchup. The Cats are -200 favorites on Monday at BetVictor.

Quinn Allen is a seasoned sports journalist from Vancouver, Canada. Quinn is a full-time senior editor for ClutchPoints where he specializes in baseball, soccer, basketball, and football. Quinn has been working in the industry for five years and brings a unique outlook to sports journalism, having played high-level soccer and baseball growing up. Quinn resides in Kelowna, Canada, and enjoys playing soccer and going to the gym.