Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) celebrates with teammate Victor Hedman (77) after knocking the Toronto Maple Leafs out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in Game 7 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Toronto, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Lightning and Panthers faceoff in Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning face the Florida Panthers in the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning are coming off a seven-game series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Florida Panthers went six games with the Washington Capitals.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay down 3-2 in the Toronto series and won the last two games in overtime. In Game 6, the Lightning were trailing 3-2 in the third period when Nikita Kucherov scored during a power play. The game did not see anymore scoring in regulation and went into overtime. One minute and 56 seconds into overtime, Brayden Point scored to tie up the series. In Game 7, Nick Paul scored his first and second postseason goals of his career, helping the Lightning past the Maple Leafs and onto the second round.

Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers won their first playoff series since 1996, when they went to the Stanley Cup Final. The Panthers beat the Washington Capitals in six games after being down 2-1 following Game 3. Florida rattled off three straight wins to advance. The Panthers were led by Carter Verhaeghe who had 12 points in the series, including six goals.

This is the first season the Panthers accumulated over 50 wins.

The two teams faced off four times this season where they split the series two games apiece. The closest game between the two teams was a 3-2 overtime victory for the back-to-back champs.

In-State Rivalry

This matchup is the second time ever the teams have met in the postseason. The 2021 playoffs was the first series between the two teams. Tampa Bay won that series in six games. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper says the fans are excited to see the two teams face each other in the playoffs.

The back-to-back champions were not surprised to be in this position. After being down in the first round, the team knew how to respond.

The first game between the Lightning and Panthers begins Tuesday.

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