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Matchup: Tampa Bay Lightning take on Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup playoffs

Nikita Kucherov on the ice, skating past the bench and celebrating with teammates
Chris O'Meara
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates with the bench after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period in Game 6 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Florida Panthers, who finished the regular season with the best record in the NHL. Here's a look at the matchup.

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their push toward a third consecutive Stanley Cup championship on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers in the second round of the playoffs.

The Lightning advanced with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 on Saturday. Nick Paul — acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators this season — scored both Lightning goals, including the tiebreaking score late in the second period.

The Panthers — who earned the Presidents' Trophy with the best record in the NHL this season — advanced Friday as Carter Verhaeghe scored the overtime winner in a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 6. It’s the franchise’s first playoff series victory since 1996 when Florida reached the Stanley Cup Final.

At a glance

WHO: Tampa Bay Lightning (51-23-8, third in the Atlantic Division) vs. Florida Panthers (58-18-6, first in the Atlantic Division)

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Panthers -146, Lightning +123


  • Tuesday, May 17: at Panthers, 7
  • Thursday, May 19: at Panthers, 7
  • Sunday, May 22: at Lightning, 1:30
  • Monday, May 23: at Lightning, 7
  • *Wednesday, May 25: at Panthers, TBA
  • *Friday, May 27: at Lightning, TBA
  • *Sunday, May 29: at Panthers, TBA
    *-if necessary

BOTTOM LINE: The Florida Panthers host the Tampa Bay Lightning to start the Eastern Conference first round. The teams meet Sunday for the sixth time this season. The Panthers went 3-2 against the Lightning during the regular season. In their last regular season matchup on April 24, the Lightning won 8-4. Paul led the Lightning with two goals.

Tampa Bay is 13-8-3 against the Atlantic Division and 51-23-8 overall. The Lightning have a +57 scoring differential, with 285 total goals scored and 228 conceded.

Florida has a 16-2-2 record in Atlantic Division games and a 58-18-6 record overall. The Panthers are sixth in league play serving 10.1 penalty minutes per game.

TOP PERFORMERS: Steven Stamkos has 42 goals and 64 assists for the Lightning. Corey Perry has scored four goals over the last 10 games.

Aleksander Barkov Jr. has 39 goals and 49 assists for the Panthers. Claude Giroux has three goals and seven assists over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Lightning: 6-4-0, averaging 3.5 goals, 5.5 assists, 4.8 penalties and 13.1 penalty minutes while giving up 3.1 goals per game.

Panthers: 5-5-0, averaging 3.2 goals, 5.4 assists, 5.8 penalties and 15.8 penalty minutes while giving up 3.8 goals per game.

INJURIES: Lightning: None listed.

Panthers: Markus Nutivaara: out (undisclosed), Jonas Johansson: out (covid-19), Mason Marchment: day to day (lower body).

The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.