The Florida Panthers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals. The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
On February 8th, the Florida Panthers will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. This will be the second and final meeting of the season between these two in-state rivals. The Panthers currently sit in first place in the Atlantic Division with 63 points, while the Lightning are just behind them in second place with 62 points. The Lightning have won four out of their last five games, but they will have their work cut out for them against a Panthers team that has only lost once in regulation since January 10th.
1. A Tale of Two Sunshine State Rivalries: The Battle for the I-4 Corridor
In the Sunshine State, two of the biggest rivals are separated by just a few miles of interstate. The University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida both want to claim the I-4 corridor as their own.
The universities are located in Orlando and Tampa, respectively, and they both have a large number of students from the I-4 corridor. UCF has been trying to brand itself as the university for the whole state, while USF has been content to be known as the university for Tampa.
But now that UCF is getting more recognition nationally, USF is feeling threatened. The two universities are now locked in a battle for supremacy in the Sunshine State.
USF has always had more success in athletics than UCF, but that’s starting to change. In 2018, UCF won its first ever football conference championship outright, while USF finished second in its division. In basketball, UCF made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever this year, while US.
2. The Battle of the Hockey Titans: Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The Battle of the Hockey Titans is an annual game between the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. This year, the game was held on March 28th at 7:00pm. The Panthers won 3-2 in a close match.
3. Who Will Come Out on Top? Panthers vs Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers are two of the best teams in the NHL. They have both been near the top of the standings for years and have met in the playoffs several times. This season, they are once again among the leaders in their respective divisions.
The Lightning are one of the most offensively-gifted teams in recent memory. Their lineup is loaded with firepower, led by forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. They also have a deep defense corps that can shut down opposing offenses. In goal, Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goaltenders in the league.
The Panthers also have a lot of talent on their roster. Their forwards, led by Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, can score goals as well as any other team in hockey’s top league while their defensemen are very good at preventing them too (led by Aaron Ekblad). In net, Sergei Bobrovsky has been one of hockey’s best goaltenders for years now (even winning a Vezina Trophy).
It should be a great series between these two talented clubs but if we had to pick a winner, we would give a slight edge to Tampa Bay because they seem to be clicking on all cylinders right now while Florida has struggled somewhat down stretch here (although they did win 7 straight not too long ago).
4. Sunshine State Showdown: Panthers and Lightning Face Off
The Sunshine State Showdown is a battle between the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. These two teams are no stranger to each other, as they have faced off numerous times in the past. The most recent meeting was back in December when the Panthers won 3-2 in overtime. This time around, the stakes are even higher as both teams are vying for first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Panthers have been on a roll lately, winning eight of their last ten games. They will look to continue their success against a Tampa Bay team that has struggled as of late, losing five of their last six games. One player to keep an eye on is Panther’s captain Sasha Barkov, who has been playing at an elite level recently and currently leads his team in points with 62.
As for the Lightning, they will need to turn things around quickly if they want to stay atop the standings. They have lost four straight games at home and will need to find a way to win on hostile ice if they want any chance of returning to first place. Players like Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point will need to step up offensively if Tampa Bay wants any chance of winning this game.
It should be an exciting matchup between two evenly matched teams fighting for first place in their division.
5. Rivalry Renewed: Can the Panthers Topple the Lightning?
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been the dominant team in the NHL over the past few seasons, but there is a new challenger to their throne in the form of the Carolina Hurricanes. The two teams meet tonight for the first time this season and it promises to be an exciting match-up.
The Panthers are led by a young and dynamic core of players, including forwards Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. They also have one of the best goaltenders in the league in Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been outstanding so far this season.
The Lightning are still a very strong team, with stars like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov leading the way offensively. They also have a great defense, led by Victor Hedman.
This should be a great game between two evenly matched teams. It will be interesting to see if Carolina can dethrone Tampa Bay as the top team in the NHL this season.