Tampa Bay Lightning (22-22-5) at Florida Panthers (20-19-10)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 26, 2017, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Florida Panthers -105 / Tampa Bay Lightning -105 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Tampa Bay Lightning look to snap out of their ugly road losing ways as they welcome the Florida Panthers to town on Thursday night.
The Bolts look to head into the all-star break on a winning note in what has certainly been a frustrating season for them as many had them as a favourite to win the Stanley Cup, but they will be lucky to even get into the playoffs at this rate. Tampa Bay is without Steven Stamkos in what has been another injury plagued season for the former first overall draft pick and fresh off a lengthy extension with the club it has certainly been a frustrating time for all parties and has left the on ice product a little worse for wear. Tampa is a paltry 3-13 in their last 16 road games but luckily for them they are taking on their in-state rivals who have been just as bad and have lost four games in a row and head into tonight’s action with a 2-7 mar in their last nine home games.
The Panthers also had high hopes coming into this season based on their success from last year but with a 4-10 mark in their last 14 against the Eastern Conference they aren’t doing themselves any favours and are in a tight spot in the Atlantic division. Florida is without some key pieces offensively but could see some of them come back soon and that could be the shot in the arm this group needs in order to make a push in the season’s second half. Roberto Luongo is expected to get the call in the Florida crease here as he will face off against Ben Bishop who is getting more time now that he has recovered from injury.
The Lightning are 3-8 in their last 11 overall and 0-5 in their last five following a win while the Panthers are 1-6 in their last seven on two day’s rest and 0-5 in their last five against the Atlantic. This game is a toss up as neither team is giving us much confidence but at this price in a toss up I am siding with Tampa who has a little more pop offensively.