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Lightning vs Panthers Game 5 Prediction: NHL Odds, Preview (Monday, April 29)
Updated:2024-05-08 07:44    Views:192
Lightning vs. Panthers PredictionMonday, April 297 p.m. ETESPNLightning Odds+155Panthers Odds-185Over / Under6.5-105 / -115Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers on Monday, April 29 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

They say the fourth game is always the hardest to win. That cliche held up in Tampa on Sunday when the Lightning kept their season alive in Game 4 with a 6-3 win over the Panthers.

Now the scene shifts back to Sunrise, where the home side eked out a pair of one-goal victories to open the series.

Don't expect the Lightning to go down without a fight. With uncharacteristically leaky goaltending on both sides, Monday's match could be another high-scoring affair.

Find my Lightning vs. Panthers Game 5 prediction and NHL betting preview below.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Whenever their playoff run ends, the Tampa Bay Lightning will face a major organizational decision regarding the future of their captain, Steven Stamkos.

On Saturday, the 34-year-old served notice that he's in no rush to start the clock ticking toward his status as an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He opened the scoring, then he added an important insurance marker in the third period as Tampa Bay stayed alive on home ice.

The Lightning's fortunes were also boosted by the unexpected return of Mikhail Sergachev. After suffering a gruesome leg injury in February, the 25-year-old logged 17 minutes on the team's second defense pairing on Saturday and also picked up his first assist of the NHL Playoffs. He's way ahead of schedule and gave his team a massive emotional boost as well as some important minutes.

With each passing game, the Lightning have done a better job at getting shots through on Sergei Bobrovsky; they started at 19 shots in Game 1 and reached 32 in their Game 4 win. They've also been strong at generating power-play opportunities, going 4-for-17 through the first four games of the series, while the Panthers are just 2-for-9.

Florida Panthers

The Lightning have life, but the Panthers will be back on home ice on Monday, where they went 26-13-2 in the regular season. Florida also has a tidy edge in 5-on-5 play through the first four games of the series, controlling 55.27 percent of Expected Goals. Even in Game 4, that edge persisted. The Panthers were undone by special teams, going 0-for-2 on their power-play chances and just 3-for-5 on the penalty kill.

While neither goaltender has been overly sharp in this series, Bobrovsky is now losing the head-to-head battle after Game 4 — a victim of the small playoff sample size. He's at an .874 Save Percentage and minus-0.8 Goals Saved Above Expected, while his counterpart Andrei Vasilevskiy is at .899 and plus-0.8 GSAE.

While the Lightning were boosted by getting Sergachev back into their lineup, the Panthers have been losing bodies. Sam Bennett has missed the last two games with an upper-body issue and is listed as week-to-week. Ryan Lomberg did skate on Sunday after missing three games due to illness, but coach Paul Maurice said, "It's going to take a couple of days to get his engine back.”

Lightning vs. Panthers

Betting Pick & Prediction

Although the Lightning are 2-0 in playoff series against their cross-state rivals and have won two Stanley Cups in the last four years, the Panthers are now the better and deeper team on paper.

However, that doesn't always translate to postseason success — just ask the 2022-23 Boston Bruins.

While the odds are literally stacked against the Lightning for Game 5 — they opened at +145 on the moneyline — their championship pedigree could be enough to keep them alive for at least one more game and get the series back to Tampa.

Bearing that in mind, it feels risky to target the outcome in this game. Instead, focus on the fact that these are two high-powered offenses, and the goaltending on both sides has been shakier than usual for true contenders.

The last two games have gone Over 6.5. Expect that trend to continue on Monday.

Pick: Over 6.5 (+102 | Play to -115)

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