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FHN Today: Lightning strike Florida Panthers in Game 1

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SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers were certainly hoping for a little more energy and a much better outcome than they got Tuesday night as they dropped the opener of their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Panthers, like last year, now find themselves handing over home ice to the Lightning.

Florida can only hope things do not follow last year’s script in which the Lightning won both games in Sunrise, taking control of the series before the puck was dropped in Tampa.

The Panthers had plenty of chances to open the game up when holding a 1-0 lead, but one did not have to be the most astute follower of the game to realize letting the Lightning hang around was a dangerous way to play.

And it was.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

PANTHERLAND

Spoke with longtime NHL analyst Eddie Olczyk and he had a lot of praise for the job Andrew Brunette has done since taking over behind the bench after Joel Quenneville resigned in October.

Ben Chiarot was fined $5K for a head butt in Game 1.

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Goldie, Randy and Jessica will keep working through the postseason on special postgame shows on Bally Sports.

— Sam Bennett says he has learned from last year’s playoff series against the Lightning — although based on Tuesday, the rest of the team has not.

— Tuesday and Wednesday’s media sessions are up on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube channel.

We have postgame from Anthony Duclair and Gus Forsling as well as today’s availability with Sasha Barkov, Carter Verhaeghe and Brunette.

If you like what you see on the YouTube channel, please subscribe!

THUNDERDOME

Could the Lightning join a short list of teams to three-peat? Kind of early, but it still has a chance.

Kucherov takes center stage against the Panthers in Game 1.

— Although it was a team effort for Tampa Bay.

— Tampa Bay shows off its depth against the Panthers.

AROUND THE NHL

What is next for Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins?

— The Wild would like to bring Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot back next season.

— St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington nearly stole Game 1, but the Colorado Avalanche take it in OT.

— The Battle of Alberta is back — as Edmonton and the Calgary Flames get back after it tonight.

— More fun with the Arizona Coyotes, who can be kicked out of Arizona State for for bad behavior. The school has apparently done its homework.

— Could Barry Trotz be headed home to Winnipeg?

— The San Jose Sharks are going to interview Ray Whitney for their vacant GM job.

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS 

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING (TB leads 1-0)

  • Game 2: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise   
  • TV/Streaming: TNT
  • Postgame: Bally Sports Florida
  • Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM 
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING

  • Regular season series — Tied 2-2: Florida 4, @Lightning 1 (Oct. 19); @Lightning 3, Florida 2 OT (Nov. 13); @Florida 9, Lightning 3 (Dec 30); Tampa Bay 8, @Florida 4 (April 24).
  • All-time regular season series: Panthers lead 73-49-18, 10 ties
  • Playoff history: Second meeting; Tampa Bay d. Florida 4-2 in R1, 2021
  • Round 1: Florida d. Washington 4-2; Tampa Bay d. Toronto 4-3
  • Full schedule — Game 1: Tampa Bay 4, @Florida 2; Game 2: Tampa Bay at Florida, Thursday, 7 (TNT); Game 3: Florida at Tampa Bay, Sunday, 1:30 (TNT); Game 4: Florida at Tampa Bay, Monday, 7 (TNT); Game 5*: Tampa Bay at Florida, Wednesday, May 25 (Time, TV TBA); Game 6*: Florida at Tampa Bay Lightning, Friday, May 27 (Time, TV TBA); Game 7*: Tampa Bay at Florida, Sunday, May 29 (Time, TV TBA). (*) — If necessary. 

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