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Bolts Take on the Cats in Sunrise.

Kevin Flannery

By Jake Ricker

Overview

The Lighting will head down to Sunrise to take on the Panthers as they look to hold the top spot in the NHL. This will be the 133rd time these two franchise will have faces off with the Panthers leading the series 65-57-10. For the 2018 season, this will be the third of four matchups with the first game ending in a 2-1 Lighting shootout victory, and the second in a 7-3 Lighting victory. We should be in for another great matchup as these two teams have developed a great Florida rivalry. Let’s take a look and how these two teams match up!

 

Tampa Bay Outlook

The Bolts are currently the number 1 team in the NHL (they are tied in points with buffalo but lead in wins) and will look to further their hold on the number 1 spot. Domingue will once again get the start in net tonight as he continues to fill in for the injured Vasilevskiy. Since coming in as the starter Domingue holds a 6-3 record and will look to improve that tonight. McDonagh will be a game-time decision tonight but was on the ice for the optional skate this morning. The Bolts struggled to do much on the power play against the Sabers but will look to turn that around tonight. If they can play with speed and win the special teams battle the Bolts should be able to take care of the Panthers with relative ease.

 

Lineup

Offense

Gourde-Stamkos-Joseph

Johnson-Point-Kucherov

Killorn-Cirelli-Miller

Palat-Paquette-Callahan

Defense

Girardi-Hedman

McDonagh-Cernak

Coburn-Sergachev

Goalies

Domingue

Ingram

 

Florida’s Outlook

The Panthers are currently 8th in the wild-card race in the Eastern Conference and will look to climb a little closer with a win tonight. This will be the second game of a back to back for the Panthers after they defeated Buffalo 3-2 in OT last night. They will need to play a slower pace tonight as many of their guys will have less energy than normal, and will still be without a few of their star players. The Panthers will look to capitalize on any opportunities they get as this will be another big challenge for them.

 

Lineup

Offense

Dadonov-Barkov-Hoffman

Huberdeau-McCann-Hunt

Vatrano-Bjugstad-Brouwer

Haley-Lammikko-Sceviour

Defense

Matheson-Ekblad

Yandle-Pysyk

Petrovic-Weegar

Goalies

Reimer

Hutchinson

 

For everyone going out to watch the game tonight have fun and be safe! If you can’t watch the game be sure to check us out on Twitter @bay_bolts for live game updates, and other news!

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