NHL Betting: Lightning vs Panthers Second Round Game 4 – 05/23/2022

The Tampa Bay Lightning are within one victory from sweeping the Florida Panthers in Round 2. Despite the Panthers finally scoring on the power play, it wasn’t enough to compete with the Lightning’s offensive onslaught. They’ll look to avoid being the second team to be swept in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is where you’ll find everything, including team win odds, the over/under, and point spreads.

Florida Panthers (+100) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (-120)

FLA: 4-5, 2.56 GF/GP, 3.33 GA/GP

TBL: 7-3, 3.40 GF/GP, 2.70 GA/GP

A big reason why the Lightning look like a promising prospect for a three-peat is their scoring by committee. Ross Colton and Corey Perry share the team lead in goals with five apiece. Nikita Kucherov leads the team in points, while Victor Hedman is second with 10 points. Their ability to consistently roll four lines that compete is a marvel to watch, and it’s even more amazing when it’s taken into account that the third line was reconstructed for this postseason. The depth gives head coach Jon Cooper a clear advantage in any series, and it’s been one of the biggest storylines against the Panthers.

Ross Colton Tampa Bay Lightning
Ross Colton, Tampa Bay Lightning (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Panthers have yet to figure a way to score more than once against Andrei Vasilevskiy. Perhaps their biggest hope heading into this series was how human Vasilevskiy looked against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that appears to be a thing of the past. Carter Verhaeghe, who led the team in points with 12 heading into this series, has gone completely cold with just five shots to his name and a minus-1 rating. The Panthers have one glimmer of hope heading into Game 4, and that’s the sheer amount of shots they’ve been granted through three games.

Point Spread

Tampa Bay – Win By More Than 1 Goal (-1.5, +200)

The Lightning have found a way to penetrate the offensive zone and find flaws in the Panthers’ defensive structure. While Florida manages to keep up with shot totals, they’re constantly hemmed into their own zone for long periods. Their bread and butter during the regular season was a strong transition game and creating plays off the rush, but against Tampa Bay, it’s next to impossible to create momentum. The Panthers must figure out a way to solve Vasilevskiy, who has elevated his play and save percentage up to .922.

The biggest concern is the lack of scoring opportunities for Florida. They’re not generating enough high-danger opportunities, nor are they getting Vasilevskiy to move from side to side enough. In Round 1, Toronto excelled at puck movement and forcing Vasilevskiy to make saves off of rebounds. In Florida’s case, a lot of their offense comes from the outside, with little success at garnering rebounds.

Total Points

Total Goals Scored – Over 6.5 (+100)

It’s do-or-die time for the Panthers, and Game 4 has the potential to be a high-scoring affair. With their backs against the wall, the Panthers will need to come flying out of the gate and generate as much offense as possible. This creates a real possibility for the game to open up and have both teams exchanging goals. Florida is an excellent transitioning team and will be at the top of its game in an attempt to avoid elimination.

Jonathan Huberdeau Florida Panthers
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The problem they face is the Lightning’s ability to force errors, create turnovers, and pounce when opportunities arise. They’ve done so all series long, and every line has contributed to the team’s offense. When they’re controlling the tempo, they’re cycling the puck and forcing the Panthers to take penalties. With these things taken into account, expect the game to surpass the six-goal threshold and become a goal-scorer’s dream.

Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.

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