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Lightning look to take 3-0 series lead against rival Panthers

Lightning Panthers Hockey
Posted at 11:33 AM, May 20, 2021

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to really put the Florida Panthers in a tough spot when the series heads to AMALIE Arena Thursday evening.

The Bolts jumped out to an early 2-0 series lead after winning both games in Sunrise by a score of 5-4 and 3-1.

Now the Panthers risk falling into a nearly insurmountable 3-0 series deficit.

The good news for Florida is they will get forward Sam Bennett back, who was suspended for Game 2 after an illegal hit on Blake Coleman in Game 1.

But will it be enough to get a win against the Lightning? The Bolts announced this week attendance at AMALIE Arena would be increased to 9,000 fans for Game 3. Earlier it was only going to be 7,000.

One of the reasons the Bolts have had such success through two games is the dominance of the power play.

With a man advantage, the Lightning are scoring 42.9% of the time. As a point of reference the top power play attack in the NHL this season was the Edmonton Oilers, who cashed in 27.6% of the time.

Florida made a goaltender switch for Game 2 of the series, and it will be Game 2 goalie Chris Driedger in net for the Panthers. He allowed just two goals in Game 2, as the third goal was an empty netter late.

Tampa Bay still has work to do in this series, as it will take two more wins to dispose of the Panthers, but looking ahead, the Carolina Hurricanes also lead the Nashville Predators 2-0, with the winner of Lightning/Panthers slated to play the winner of that series.

Puck drop for Game 3 in Tampa is at 6:30 p.m.