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.
Florida Panthers at Lightning Comparison
|Game #60||Tampa Bay Lightning||Florida Panthers|
Tampa Bay Lightning
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
Victor Hedman - Zach Bogosian
Ian Cole - Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev - Erik Cernak
Florida Panthers Potential 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
Gustav Forsling - Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal - Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura - Radko Gudas