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GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning

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Cats get reinforcements for stretch run

NHL: MAR 21 Panthers at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Panthers ​(27-12-4 58P) vs Lightning (28-12-2 58P)

  • WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
  • ON THE TUBE: NBCSN
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 640 WMEN (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #GoBolts, #FLAvsTBL, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Raw Charge
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 5 of 8 (2-2-0)
  • LAST MEETING: @TBL 5, FLA 3 - (Recap) - 3/21/2021
  • NEXT MEETING: April 17, 2021
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Driedger (12-5-2 .930/ 2.04 2SO) vs Vasilevskiy (25-6-1 .932/ 2.00 4SO)
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Tampa Bay

Scouting Report

The Tampa Bay Lightning had their two-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday in an embarrassing 7-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. After four straight games on the road, the Lightning return home to host the Florida Panthers for the fifth time this season. The series is currently deadlocked at 2-2 and this meeting will decide who moves into first place in the Central Division. The Lightning and Panthers are in a three-way tie with the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the division. Tampa Bay’s next four games feature two games against each of those teams so they must refocus after Tuesday’s loss. Look for the Lightning to get back on track as they return to their home ice where they’re 15-4-0 this season.

The Panthers were finally able to pick up an overtime win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday to snap a three-game losing skid. Their struggles of late can be blamed on their lack of offensive production from players other than Aleksander Barkov. Barkov had scored four consecutive goals for Florida until Radko Gudas found the back of the net in their win on Tuesday. During their three-game losing streak the Panthers combined for only three goals which is not a good sign as they enter a series against the Lightning and their high-powered offense. Tampa Bay will be fired up as they return home for a very crucial series as the season draws to a close.

Full preview at Pickswise

Thursday in the Central (Standings/Panthers Playoff Chances):

  • NASHVILLE (24-19-1 49P) at CAROLINA (27-10-4 58P) 7 p.m.
  • CHICAGO (20-18-5 45P) at DETROIT (15-23-6 36P) 7:30 p.m.
  • COLUMBUS (15-20-9 39P) at DALLAS (15-14-12 42P) 8:30 p.m. ESPN+-

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