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Florida Panthers GameDay

GameDay 31: Lines, betting odds for Lightning at Panthers

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SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers hope their Covid problems are behind them but it appears the Tampa Bay Lightning are right in the thick of it.

The Lightning, who visit Sunrise Thursday for the first time this season, had six players missing when it returned from the pause on Tuesday night including coach Jon Cooper.

Fortunately for Tampa Bay, Montreal was hit even harder.

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The Canadiens were down nine players for that game yet fought gallantly as the Lightning came from behind to pull out a 5-4 win.

The Lightning will be without some of its best players for Thursday’s game including All-World goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and backup Brian Elliott.

Tampa Bay did get back Brayden Point after an extended stay on IR and he turned in a fantastic performance Tuesday with two goals and three points off six shots.

Maxime Lagace made 27 saves in the Lightning win and will start against the Panthers on Thursday.

Hugo Alnefelt, the 20-year-old prospect who has played for Syracuse and Orlando this season, is the backup.

As for the Panthers, well, they had their full complement of players — for the most part — for Wednesday night’s game against the visiting New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

FHN TODAY: MacKenzie Weegar has quite the night in Florida’s win over Rangers

Although the Panthers did not look fantastic, they looked good enough as they pulled out a 4-3 win against the Rangers. 

Florida got goals from Anton Lundell, MacKenzie Weegar, Carter Verhaeghe and Anthony Duclair in the win.

“We have such a resilient group,’’ Weegar said after the Panthers rallied from a 2-1 deficit with three goals in the third.

“It is the belief. After the second period, heads are high, chins are up, we’re all positive in there. You guys know firsthand being around us how close we are, and we’ve got such a good family in there. We do love to battle for each other. We came out strong, it was a physical game, big hits all around on both sides, we stuck in there, we battled for each other and got a big win tonight.”

As for Thursday, we are not sure how the Panthers will line up although one can bet Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Lomberg will be in there.

Those two played their agitator role to the limit Wednesday night — and seemed to be having a blast doing it.

One can bet they will be doing their best to spice things up against the Lightning on Thursday.

As for a goalie, Spencer Knight gets in with Sergei Bobrovsky backing up.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING AT FLORIDA PANTHERS

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair

11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 9 Sam Bennett // 13 Sam Reinhart

98 Maxim Mamin // 15 Anton Lundell // 17 Mason Marchment

94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 70 Patric Hornqvist

52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad

42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas

32 Lucas Carlsson // 62 Brandon Montour

30 Spencer Knight

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Jonas Johansson, Joe Thornton, Frank Vatrano

Injured: Noel Acciari (LTIR), Markus Nutivaara (LTIR)

Covid Protocol: Olli Juolevi, Owen Tippett

PROJECTED TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING LINEUP

18 Ondrej Palat // 91 Steven Stamkos // 16 Taylor Raddysh

17 Alex Killorn // 21 Brayden Point // 7 Matthieu Joseph

14 Pat Maroon // 79 Ross Colton // 10 Corey Perry

13 Boris Katchouk // 20 Riley Nash // 82 Gabriel Fortier

77 Victor Hedman // 44 Jan Rutta

27 Ryan McDonagh // 24 Zach Bogosian

52 Cal Foote // 74 Sean Day

33 Maxime Lagace

60 Hugo Alnefelt

Tampa Bay Lightning lines provided by dailyfaceoff.com 

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