Florida Panthers Visit their In-State Rival for a Classic Duel

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 6: Yanni Gourde #37 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers during the third period at Amalie Arena on October 6, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)"n
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 6: Yanni Gourde #37 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers during the third period at Amalie Arena on October 6, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)"n /

Tonight at 7:30 P.M. EST, the Florida Panthers will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.

This is the second of five contests between the Sunshine State foes this season. The Lightning defeated the Florida Panthers, 2-1 on October 6th in Amalie Arena. They’ll play twice later this year at the BB&T Center, on December 1st and on February 10th.

The Panthers started the 2018-19 season with a 2-5-3 record, then reeled off five straight wins. After consecutive road losses, they defeated the Ottawa Senators, 7-5 on Monday night.

This is the fifth game of a six-game road trip for the Panthers. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1 on November 13th, then lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 7-3 on Thursday and 4-2 to the New York Rangers on Saturday.

They’ll close up with a match against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night before returning home.

The Lightning just finished a four-game road trip with losses to the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators and wins against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Flyers.

This is the first game of a five-game homestand for them. They’ll go on to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, and the Sabres next Thursday.

When Last We Met

In the first game of the year for both teams, the Lightning defeated the Panthers, 2-1 in a shootout on October 6th with 19,092 present at Amalie Arena.

Jacob MacDonald lit the lamp in the first period, assisted by Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau. After making 13 saves and not allowing a goal, Roberto Luongo was injured, and James Reimer took over.

Halfway through the third, the Bolts broke through on a shorthanded goal by Anthony Cirelli, assisted by Ryan McDonagh. After a scoreless overtime, J.T. Miller and Nikita Kucherov each beat Reimer to take the victory.

Florida Panthers
NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 19: Anthony Cirelli #71 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on November 19, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

"“It’s obviously my dream to play and have a shift like that my first time out is awesome. It was a lot of fun coming in here and they have a great environment.” – MacDonald, on his first goal, quoted by Corey Long on NHL.com."

Panthers Last

13 different Panthers got onto the scoresheet in a 7-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators with 11,570 in the house at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Juho Lammikko had four assists, Aleksander Barkov had a goal and a helper, and Aaron Ekblad had a pair of dimes.

Troy Brouwer, Evgeni Dadonov, Michael Haley, Mike Hoffman, Jared McCann, and Frank Vatrano also each lit the lamp. Hoffman’s goal, late in the third, marked the 16th straight game in which he scored a point, a Panthers record.

Florida Panthers
OTTAWA, ON – NOVEMBER 19: Florida Panthers Center Vincent Trocheck (21) waits for a face-off during first period National Hockey League action between the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators on November 19, 2018, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Panthers lost forward Trocheck for perhaps the rest of the season after a terrible looking injury in the first period. Reimer earned the win despite allowing five goals on 38 shots.

"“He didn’t look like a rookie, did he? He was looking like Wayne [Gretzky] behind the net there. He had a great game. Those passes are right on the tape, and all we had to do is put them in after he did most of the work.” – Haley, on Lammikko, quoted by Callum Fraser on NHL.com."

Tampa Bay’s Last

On Monday night, with 17,419 on hand at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators defeated Tampa Bay, 3-2. Victor Hedman (4) and Kucherov (8) scored goals for the Bolts. Brayden Point had a pair of assists, and netminder Louis Domingue stopped 31-of-34 for the loss.

Florida Panthers
NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 19: Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on November 19, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

"“They dictated the pace in the first half, we dictated in the second half. We both scored three, one was called back. That was ultimately the difference in the game.” – Lightning coach Jon Cooper, as quoted by Robby Stanley on NHL.com."

All-Time Series

The Florida Panthers are 65-41-10-15 against the Lightning all-time. Their .592 points percentage ranks as their second best against anyone. This will be the 132nd match between the two, far and away from their most common opponent.

This Day in History

The Florida Panthers are 6-3-1-1 on November 21st from 1993 through the present. They’ve never faced the Lightning on this date.

In 2001, they defeated the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 6-0. Ivan Novoseltsev scored twice, Niklas Hagman scored a goal and an assist, and Bret Hedican, Bill Lindsay, and Marcus Nilson had two helpers each.

Kevyn Adams, Ryan Johnson, and Lance Pitlick also each scored goals. A 21-year-old Luongo earned the shutout that day, stopping 30 shots.

Florida Panthers
2003 Season: Player Ivan Novoseltsev of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images) /


Florida Panthers: 8-7-3, 19 points, .528 points percentage, on pace for 87 points. Sixth in the Atlantic Division, 10th in the Eastern Conference, 17th in the NHL. Last Five: W-W-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 36.1%

Tampa Bay Lightning: 14-6-1, 29 points, .690 points percentage, on pace for 113 points. Second in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference, third in the NHL. Last Five: L-L-W-W-L. Playoff Odds: 85.3%.

Starting Lineup

Florida Panthers
11– ?-27


1 (unconfirmed)

Tampa Bay Lightning
J.T. Miller – Steven Stamkos – Kucherov
Yanni Gourde – Point – Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn – Anthony Cirelli – Mathieu Joseph
Adam ErneDanick MartelRyan Callahan

Hedman – Dan Girardi
McDonagh – Erik Cernak
Coburn – Mikhail Sergachev

Domingue (unconfirmed)

Injury Report

Joshua Brown is out for the season with an upper-body injury.

Derek MacKenzie has a shoulder injury and his return is undetermined.

Jamie McGinn is recovering from back surgery and will not return soon.

Trocheck had emergency surgery after Monday’s injury and is not available.


Games: Petrovic will tie Mike Weaver in 42nd with his 246th career Panthers game. Ekblad will tie Trocheck in 23rd with his 328th career game. Barkov will break a tie with Rostislav Olesz and move into 20th all-time with 350 games played.

Florida Panthers
NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 04: Rostislav Olesz #85 of the Florida Panthers skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 4, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. Florida defeated the Devils 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Goals: Dadonov will tie Marcus Nilson and Shawn Matthias in a tie for 31st with his next goal, his 48th. Ekblad will tie Olesz in 19th with his next goal, his 57th. Nick Bjugstad will tie David Booth in 13th with his next goal, number 87. Huberdeau has 99 goals, and with two more will tie Rob Niedermayer and Viktor Kozlov in eighth all-time.

Assists: Dadonov’s next assist will tie him with Paul Laus in 42nd, with 58. Keith Yandle will tie Bill Lindsay in 19th all-time with his next, his 98th.

Florida Panthers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 13: Florida Panthers right wing Evgenii Dadonov (63) celebrates his goal during a NHL game between the Florida Panthers and the Philadelphia Flyers on November 13, 2018, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Points: Dadonov will tie Mike Van Ryn with his next point, his 105th, and move into 38th. Ekblad’s next point, his 142nd, will tie him with Gord Murphy in 20th. Barkov, currently tied in ninth with Rob Niedermayer with 266 points, needs two more to tie Radek Dvorak in eighth.

More from Panthers News

Stat Leaders

Games: Ekblad, Bjugstad, Trocheck, Huberdeau, Yandle, Barkov, Dadonov, Hoffman – 18

Goals: Dadonov, Hoffman – 9, Vatrano, Barkov – 6

Assists: Yandle – 13, Huberdeau – 12, Trocheck, Barkov – 11

Points: Dadonov, Hoffman – 19, Yandle, Barkov – 17

Plus-Minus: Bjugstad +6, MacKenzie Weegar +3, Denis Malgin +2

Hits: Petrovic – 53, Trocheck – 36, Brouwer – 28

Blocked Shots: Petrovic – 31, Mike Matheson – 22, Weegar – 21

Faceoff Percentage: Barkov – 54.5%, Trocheck – 53.9%, Lammikko – 47.5%, McCann – 45.1%

Shots-on-Goal: Hoffman – 65, Trocheck – 50, Barkov – 48


Jimmy Hayes scored 30 goals and 23 assists in 125 games with the Florida Panthers. He turns 29 today.

Denis Shvidki was a forward for parts of four seasons with the Florida Panthers. He scored 11 goals and 14 assists in 76 games.

Next. How to Replace Vincent Trocheck. dark

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