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LBC GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning

First roadie of 2016-17 lands Cats on the Left Coast

Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Panthers (2-0 4P) vs Lightning (2-0 4P)

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  • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 7ish
  • WHERE: Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL
  • UPCOMING GOODIES: Tonight’s match features the first official Watch Party of the young season, with festivities getting rowdy at Bokamper’s Bar & Grill in Ft. Lauderdale (details)
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, SUN Sports
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM, 640 WMEN
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #TBLightning, #FLAvsTBL, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Raw Charge
  • SB NATION: Game Hub
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 1 of 4 (0-0)
  • ALL-TIME vs TBL: 62W-38L-10T 5OTL 7SOL 377GF 330GA
  • ALL-TIME at TBL: 5W-10L-2T 2OTL 0SOL 48GF 59GA
  • LAST FIVE vs TBL: 4-1-0 17GF 11GA
  • LAST GAME vs TBL: FLA 5 - TBL 2 (Todd’s Recap) - 03/26/2016
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Reimer (0-0), Bishop (1-0 .875/4.02)
  • JAGR WATCH: All-time vs TBL (regular season): 76GP 35G-47A 82P 6GWG
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Tampa Bay

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NHL.com Preview:

Tampa Bay is 2-0-0 despite giving up the first two goals in each game. Defenseman Victor Hedman says playing from behind isn't the best way to win, even though the Lightning have the firepower to make comebacks. "Obviously you want to have the lead instead of being down two goals at the start of the game," Hedman said. "But we always come back and we believe in ourselves. Hopefully we can turn around the start of the game in the future."

Tampa Bay is trying to start 3-0-0 for the second straight season, but coach Jon Cooper wants to keep the momentum going beyond Tuesday. After winning its first three games last season, Tampa Bay went 2-5-2 during the remainder of October. "You want to have a good start," Cooper said. "The last thing you want to do, and we learned this last year, is [start] chasing a playoff spot come December." (More)

Yahoo.com Preview:

"It should be a pretty good clash," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, whose team lost four of five games to their in-state rivals last season. "They're a really good team. They won our division last year. They're strong on defense. They're strong down the middle. ... They've had a year to win together, so they're that much more confident in what they're doing."

Florida had the better regular season last year, resetting franchise records for wins (47) and points (103), but it was the Lightning who stuck around longer in the playoffs. The Panthers lost in the opening round 4-2 to the Islanders, with three overtime losses, while Tampa Bay needed only five games to eliminate the Islanders in the next round before ultimately losing to Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals.

"We have a big test tomorrow night in Tampa. It should be fun," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "It's going to be a battle. ... Our game plan hasn't changed. If you execute well, you're going to have good opportunities. I like the way we have played in these first two games for sure." (More)

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Last game for the Cats: 4-1 home victory over Detroit Saturday. Past five: 2-0 (streak: 2W)

Last game for the Lightning: 3-2 comeback win over New Jersey on Saturday. Past five: 2-0 (streak: 2W)

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Tuesday in the Atlantic Division (Standings / Panthers Playoff Chances):

  • Pittsburgh (2-0-1 5P) at MONTREAL (1-0-1 3P), 7:30
  • Arizona (1-0 2P) at OTTAWA (2-1 4P), 7:30
  • BUFFALO (1-1-0 2P) at Calgary (0-2-1 1P), 9:00
  • Idle: BOS (3GP/4P), DET (3GP/2P), TOR (2GP/3P)

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Panthers, SoFla Media & Loyal Opposition on the Tweets

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