|FLA (-165) @ pinnacle|
6 of 6 (100%) Experts with a pick on the moneyline are aligned. 10* play on the Florida Panthers (Straight-up).
AAA Sports: 10* ASSASSIN (THIS IS THE BIG ONE!)
I had a play on Tampa in Game 1, but I'll be laying the price with confidence here in Game 2, as I expect the Panthers to risk life and limb to ensure they don't get into an 0-2 hole. Tampa's been anything but consistent throughout these playoffs, susceptible to big stretches of futility. I say the Bolts are happy with having already earned a split. The Panthers looked a bit slow out of the gate in Game 1, but we can expect Florida to be the aggressor from the outset in this one. Finally, note that the Panthers are 7-2 in their last 9 in trying to revenge a home loss against an opponent in which they were held to 1 or less goals in.
Al McMordie: BIG AL's NHL SLAPSHOT CLUB (5-1 WEDS.)!
Just as they did in their first round series against the Caps, the favored Panthers lost Game 1 at home -- this time against their cross-state rivals. But the Bolts are a decidedly better team than the Caps so Florida has to be careful that it doesn't let down again tonight and go into a 2-0 hole, from which it would be very difficult to crawl out. What the Panthers need to do tonight is to simply play like the team which had the best home record in the NHL this season -- and one which is 46-9 in its last 55 games as a home favorite. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky needs to play better than he did in Game 1 and he's certainly capable of it. In the first round series, Bobrovsky came back after a lackluster performance in Game 1 and had one of his best games in Game 2 -- stopping all but one of the shots he faced from the high-flying Capitals. Florida is 20-6 (+15 games on the moneyline) in its last 26 games after scoring one goal or less in its previous while the favorite is 23-9 in the last 32 meetings of these two.
Ben Burns: **MAX BET** 2ND RD 10* GAME OF THE YEAR!
Clearly, the Lightning are still a really good team. Off an extremely hard-fought 7-game series against the Leafs, they still had enough left in the tank to take Game 1. They'd finish with a 4-1 victory. Expect the champs to find things considerably more difficult this evening. The Panthers grew a lot in the first round. They, too, were on the brink of getting knocked out. They kept coming back though; there is no quit in this team. After losing the opener of that series by a 4-2 score, the Panthers bounced back and crushed the Caps by a 5-1 score in Game 2. They'd go on to lose Game 3 by a 6-1 score. Once again, they bounced back. Including that Game 4 victory, the Panthers are a highly profitable 20-6 (+15) the past 26 times that they scored one goal or less in their previous game, a perfect 4-0 their past four. They're 58-26 the past 2+ seasons, after allowing four or more goals. The Panthers are also still a dominating 33-8 their past 41, when playing a home game with an O/U line of six or greater. Expect them to improve on those stats and even the series.
Jazz Ray: 10* NHL *** SLAPSHOT **** HOT!
Florida outshot and outplayed Tampa in game one by a heavy margin however the Lighting got the bounces. Look for Florida to come back strong in game two of battle of Florida. I expect Florida to take game two with ease.
Matt Fargo: Fargo's 10* NHL Thursday Breakaway (11-5)
Game One played out as expected with the postseason experience of Tampa Bay being the difference as it fell behind 1-0 before scoring four unanswered goals in the Game One upset. The Lightning have won three of five road playoff games pushing their record to 27-17-1-1 on the road and will rely on its potent offense that averaged 3.5 gpg on away ice during the regular season which was fourth most in the league and it faces a defense that has been inconsistent that allowed 3.0 gpg on the season. This is not really a letdown spot but Tampa Bay knows it has grabbed home ice which puts the higher motivation on the other side. Tampa Bay is 10-15 against the money line in road games against teams averaging five or more assists per game this season. This number is approaching the one that we saw in the series opener so we are catching some early value with Florida. The Panthers have already been in this position as they lost Game One against Washington at home only to bounce back in Game Two with a convincing 5-1 victory. Florida is now 36-9-0-0 at home and it will have to do a better job on special teams after going 0-3 on the power play while allowing three goals in six chances on the penalty kill and that clearly was the difference. The Panthers have averaged 4.53 gpg at home and while the defense is under pressure, the offense is not far behind. Florida 26-3 in its last 29 games against the money line after allowing three goals or more in three straight games. Here, we play on favorites against the money line in the second half of the season with a winning percentage between .600 and .700 revenging a loss where they scored one or less goals. This situation is 86-29 (74.8 percent) over the last five seasons.
Sean Murphy: +$48K RUN! 10* NHL TOP SECOND ROUND SIDE!
We missed with the Panthers in Game 1. I can't help but think after grabbing an early 1-0 lead they thought the Lightning would just roll over, especially with Brayden Point sidelined and coming off a grueling seven-game series against the Leafs that saw them rally to win the final two games. That wasn't the case of course as Tampa Bay outmuscled Florida in a 4-1 victory. Now it's on the Panthers to bounce back and I expect them to do just that on Thursday. Note that Florida checks in an incredible 13-1 when coming off a game in which it scored one goal or less over the last two seasons, outscoring opponents by 1.4 goals on average in that spot. Perhaps better still, the Panthers are 20-3 when playing at home after allowing 3+ goals in consecutive games over the same stretch, outscoring opponents by 2.1 goals on average while putting up an incredible 4.7 goals per contest. We know this is a critical contest for the Panthers as they can ill afford to dig themselves an 0-2 hole the way they did against the Lightning in last year's opening round playoff series. As I've noted previously, long winning streaks just aren't commonplace in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I suppose I should have taken my own advice in Game 1 of this series as the Panthers were looking for a fourth straight win. Now it's the Lightning that will be aiming to win a fourth consecutive game. I expect them to fall short.
Best of luck!
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Winning Starts Here