Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers: Will the Series End With Game 5?

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four
Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Lightning vs Panthers NHL Game Info

Tampa Bay Lightning (36-17-3) vs. Florida Panthers (37-14-5)
Date: Monday, May 24
Time: 8:00 PM ET, BB&T Center
TV Coverage: FSFL, SUN

Lightning vs Panthers Odds, Moneyline, Spread, & Total

Odds via Fanduel Sportsbook
: Lightning: (-116) | Panthers: (-102)
Spread: Lightning: -1.5 (+225) | Panthers: +1.5 (-280) 
Total: 5.5 – Over: (-134) | Under: (+110)
Odds to Win Series: Lightning: (-1300) | Panthers: (+770)
Odds to Win Stanley Cup: Lightning: (+600) | Panthers: (+10000)

Lightning vs Panthers News and Notes

The Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off their most dominant win of the series and can conclude the Battle of Florida with a road victory over the Panthers on Monday.  Tampa scored a series-high six goals on Saturday to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in a game that featured a little bit of everything.

A stellar performance from Alex Killorn provided the offense with a pair of goals and two assists. Nikita Kucherov also had a four-point performance with a goal and three assists but was also front and center in the chaos of an old-school hockey game.  In addition to top-notch offensive physical plays, mini bruhahas, and enough penalties to make the Broad Street Bullies raise an eyebrow, was the scene in Tampa. There were 26 combined penalties, including boarding, roughing, and slashing calls — and Kucherov was in the thick of it. 

Kucherov was called for goaltender interference after inadvertently colliding with Panthers' netminder Chris Driedger. In fact, Kucherov was checked into the goalie by MacKenzie Weegar while on a partial break. Nevertheless, the skilled Russian was called for the penalty, and a scrum ensued following the play in the final minute of the second.   

Less than 11 minutes after the second intermission and not even five minutes after potting his third goal of the series, the Lightning forward was on the other end. Kucherov took a behind-the-play slash to the leg from Florida forward Anthony Duclair forcing him out of the game for good.  While the injury is not considered severe, we all know how tight-lipped the NHL is on players' ailments. Consider Kuch questionable but likely to play. 

Fellow countrymen Mikhail Sergachev also fell victim to the chippy play. The valuable defenseman was hit hard into the boards by Florida's Patric Hornqvist late in the game. Sergachev was hunched over while skating to the tunnel and did not return. His status is also up in the air for Game 5. The questionable hit drew the ire of Tampa tough guy Patrick Maroon who got into it with Hornqvist before both men were given misconduct penalties and bounced from the game. 

Lost in the chaos was a Vezina-worthy performance from a Vezina Trophy candidate. Andrei Vasilevskiy held the charging Panthers at bay, who trailed 5-1 only seven minutes into the second period. Florida threw everything they could at the elite goalie by Vasilevskiy, turned away 39-of-41 shots, and was only beat facing the man advantage. Both of Florida's goals came on the powerplay, with only Jonathan Huberdeau and Carter Verhaeghe solving Tampa's netminder on the day. 

In a game with 12 combined PPs, 92 penalty minutes, five misconducts, it's clear meeting for the 12th time this season has the Sunshine State rivals on the verge of blowing up. 

The elimination game goes down on this holiday Monday north of the border that customarily signals the unofficial start of Summer. While the observance traditionally rings in the season with firing off Roman candles, the many Canadians on both teams are more likely to keep the fireworks on the ice.

Expect another tense, spirited affair in Canada's favorite snowbird destination for Game 5.

The Bets: Lightning moneyline (-116), Over 5.5 (-134), Steven Stamkos Over 0.5 Goals (+168)

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