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Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers preview: The start of the first Bolts road trip

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The long-awaited end of the five games series between these teams.

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers: Game 2

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: BB&T Center

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Litter Box Cats

Preview:

After winning on Thursday night at Amalie Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning are heading to Sunrise to face the Florida Panthers again. It’s going to be the fifth game in a row between these two teams, including three preseason and two regular season games.

The Lightning didn’t look good during the first two periods on Thursday, although they converted their chances and looked very dangerous on the power play. The third period was the best for the Bolts. They controlled 67% of the shots at even strength and scored three unanswered goals in the second half of the period.

Kevin Shattenkirk and Pat Maroon both had great debuts by scoring their first goals since joining the Lightning as free agents over the summer. Shattenkirk even led the Lightning players in time on ice, which probably indicates that he’s staying on the top pair and Mikhail Sergachev will remain on the third pair.

Carter Verhaeghe also played his first game. But Thursday wasn’t just his Lightning debut. It was his NHL debut as well. He played mostly on the third line with Mathieu Joseph and Yanni Gourde, looked a little bit nervous, and didn’t register any points. But he didn’t make big mistakes and even played on the second power play unit. He also started the attack that eventually led to Shattenkirk’s goal in the second period.

No big changes are not expected tonight. Brayden Point and Cedric Paquette are still recovering. According to Jon Cooper, Paquette will miss about two weeks and Point might play his first game of the season on the Canadian trip next week in Toronto. That should be a good news, because earlier Brayden Point was expected to miss about 3-4 weeks.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a seven game winning streak over the Florida Panthers since the 2017-18 season. The last defeat dates back to the October 7, 2017. Tonight’s game will be the first game of an early season six game road trip for the Bolts, which ends on October 17 in Boston.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Steven Stamkos - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Carter Verhaeghe - Yanni Gourde - Mathieu Joseph

Patrick Maroon - Gemel Smith - Luke Witkowski

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Florida Panthers

Forward Lines

Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Evgenii Dadonov

Frank Vatrano - Vincent Trocheck - Mike Hoffman

Jayce Hawryluk - Henrik Borgstrom - Brett Connolly

Dryden Hunt - Noel Acciari - Colton Sceviour

Defense Pairings

Michael Matheson - Aaron Ekblad

Mackenzie Weegar - Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle - Josh Brown

Goalies

Sergei Bobrovsky

Samuel Montembeault