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GameDay No. 53: Lines, Betting Odds for Lightning at Panthers

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Florida Panthers Tampa Bay Lightning
The Florida Panthers return from the All-Star break in a renewal of the Battle of Florida against the Tampa Bay Lightning — Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers return from the All-Star break in this season’s third edition of the Battle of Florida against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy got a hint of what is to come throughout the weekend as the host Panthers fans booed him during the skills competition and All-Star Game.

He took it as a sign of respect rather than a sign of hatred.

“To me, it’s like they’re respecting me because I’ve done something right against them. I’ll take it,” Vasilevskiy said via the Tampa Bay Times.

”I actually I appreciate that. So that’s fun. I wish every building was like this.”

The rivalry hit an uptick over the last two seasons when the two sides faced off in the postseason.

Tampa Bay currently owns a 6-2 lead in playoff games and a 2-0 lead in playoff series but the Panthers have historically been the better regular season team in these battles with a 73-50-19 record all-time.

”We know they are a good team and they won the Cup a coupe years in a row for a reason,” Carter Verhaeghe said.

”We know they are a really good team and what we’re playing against so there is definitely a bit of respect.”

Although the Panthers hit a setback this year, the three-time reigning Eastern Conference Champions view them in the same light.

”It’s a rivalry for sure,” Vasilevskiy said.

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”They were the Presidents’ Trophy winners and they scored the most goals last year. They have been legit for the last few years. It’s always fun to play against them. It’s always playoff hockey.“

INJURY UPDATES

PANTHERS ON DECK

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING AT FLORIDA PANTHERS

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

15 Anton Lundell // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 21 Nick Cousins

71 Chris Tierney // 12 Eric Staal // 54 Givani Smith

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

62 Brandon Montour // 18 Marc Staal

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

30 Spencer Knight

Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion)

PROJECTED TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING LINEUP

91 Steven Stamkos // 21 Brayden Point // 86 Nikita Kucherov

38 Brandon Hagel // // 71 Anthony Cirelli // 17 Alex Killorn

79 Ross Colton // 20 Nick Paul // 14 Pat Maroon

90 Vladislav Namestnikov // 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare // 10 Corey Perry

77 Victor Hedman // 24 Zach Bogosian

98 Mikhail Sergachev // 48 Nicklaus Perbix

28 Ian Cole // 81 Erik Cernak

88 Andrei Vasilevskiy

1 Brian Elliott

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