Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview and Game Day Thread

Time to get back on tract with a home game against a familiar foe.

Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #60

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: BSSUN, BSFL, TVAS, SNE, SNO, ESPN+, Hulu

Opponent SBNation Site: Litter Box Cats

DraftKings Line: Lightning -1.5, O/U 6.5


If the newly acquired Tanner Jeannot makes his debut tonight, it will be a heck of a way to introduce himself to the Lightning faithful. A home game against their in-state rivals (who the Lightning owe a little payback for the 7-1 beating earlier this month)? How long would it take for Jeannot and Matthew Tkachuk to start barking at each other? One shift? Pre-game warm-ups?

It doesn’t sound like Jeannot arrived in Tampa until Monday afternoon so he hasn’t skated with the team yet. Asking him to jump into things with just a morning skate under his belt may be a bit much to ask, especially for a team that really need to show their coach that the recent play is an aberration and not a disturbing new trend.

This will be the fourth and final meeting between the two teams in the regular season with the Lightning taking the first two match-ups by scores of 3-2 and 4-1 before getting smoked in Sunrise right after the All-Star Break. Since that game Florida has alternated wins and losses beating San Jose, Minnesota, Washington, and Anaheim but losing to Colorado, St. Louis, Nashville (Jeannot played 14:38, threw 4 hits, blocked a shot, and had one penalty), and Buffalo.

The Panthers did welcome back Anthony Duclair back in their latest game, a 3-1 loss to the Sabres. The dynamic forward recorded an assist after missing the entire season due to Achilles surgery.  Getting a 30-goal scorer back is almost as good as making a huge trade at this time of year and Florida needs all the help they can get right now as they fight for a wild card spot. They are 3 points behind the Penguins for the second spot but have played two more games than Pittsburgh.

While the Lightning would love to have Jeannot’s tenacity in the line-up tonight, what they need to do is figure out their defensive coverage. They’ve absolutely abandoned their goaltenders in the last two outings as they’ve failed to clear pucks, left players alone in dangerous areas, and generally not taken care of the little things they need to do to win games consistently.

One player that will definitely be in the line-up and hopefully help out with the puck prevention is Erik Cernak. He’s served his two-game suspension for elbowing Kyle Okposo. With Cernak back in the line-up, Coach Cooper should be able to set his normal defensive pairings, and just that may settle things down a bit.

Comparison chart:

Florida Panthers at Lightning Comparison

Game #60Tampa Bay LightningFlorida Panthers
Overall Record37-18-429-26-6
Home Record22-4-316-9-3
Road Record15-14-113-17-3
Goals For212210
Goals Against176213

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Brandon Hagel - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos - Alex Killorn

Vlad Namestnikov/Tanner Jeannot - Nick Paul - Ross Colton

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian

Ian Cole - Nick Perbix

Mikhail Sergachev - Erik Cernak


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Florida Panthers Potential Lines

Forward Lines

Anthony Duclair - Anton Lundell - Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaeghe - Eetu Luostarinen - Matthew Tkachuk

Ryan Lomberg - Eric Staal - Nick Cousins

Grigori Denisenko - Colin White - Zac Dalpe

Defense Pairings

Gustav Forsling - Aaron Ekblad

Marc Staal - Brandon Montour

Josh Mahura - Radko Gudas


Sergei Bobrovsky

Alex Lyon