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Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 10/27/13

Tampa Bay Lightning (6-3-0) at Florida Panthers (3-7-1)

NHL Hockey: Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm (BB&T Center)

The Line: Florida Panthers -105 / Tampa Bay Lightning -105 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds


The Battle of Florida takes centre stage on Sunday as the Lightning travel from Tampa Bay to Sunrise to take on the slumping Panthers.

The Lightning have raced out to one of the league’s best marks through the first ten contests as they’re 7-3 on the year and have won two straight games heading into this one against the Panthers. Tampa Bay has always had firepower up front with Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis and while the Bolts’ offense is still holding up their end of the bargain it is the Lightning goaltending namely Ben Bishop who has stolen the headlines and I think will be an under the radar type net minder for the Vezina this season. Unfortunately for the Lightning though they get Anders Lindback in the crease in this one and while he was supposed to be the next big thing after leaving his backup role in Nashville it has become evident that it was more system success for Lindback as opposed to his overall talent. He is still an NHL goaltender who obviously can steal a game for his team but I think the Lightning is more comfortable with Bishop in net.

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 10/27/13

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers meanwhile have stumbled out of the gates once again and for a team who was unable to sign any major free agents they are exactly where most people predicted they’d be through 11 games. Jacob Markstrom gets the call in the Florida crease here as Tim Thomas continues to battle injury and while Markstrom hasn’t had much success this season he is still a great net minder and has a very bright future ahead. The Lightning are big favourites here as they should be but I am washy on this game as the value just isn’t there. Markstrom to me is the better net minder of the two here and the Cats are at home but Stamkos can win this game on his own if he wants to. Either way I can see this one being a barn burner and I fully expect the goal judges to have their work cut out for them. Hammer the over.

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