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 Conor Sheary #73 of the Tampa Bay Lightning  NHLGetty images

How to watch today's Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Playoffs First Round Game: Live stream, TV channel, and start time

The Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Florida Panthers at Amerant Bank Arena in Game 1 of the NHL Playoffs First Round on Sunday. The Battle of Florida seldom falls short of expectations, and the opening game in this series appears to be a terrific one.

The Lightning, with a 45-29-8 record, grabbed the top wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference thanks to a 6-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, while the Panthers look like Stanley Cup favorites after they won the Atlantic Division with a 52-24-6 mark.

Here, GOAL brings you all the information you need to know about this NHL match, including how to watch, team news, key results and head-to-head results.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers: Date & Puck-Drop time

DateSunday, April 21, 2024
Time12:30pm ET/ 9:30am PT
ArenaAmerant Bank Arena
LocationSunrise, Florida, USA

The match between Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers will take place at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, USA on Sunday, April 21, 2024. The game will begin at 12:30 pm ET/ 9:30am PT.

How to watch Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers NHL Game on TV & stream live online

The Panthers vs. Lightning NHL fixture will be broadcast live nationally on ESPN.

If you don't have cable TV, the best way to watch almost every NHL playoff game online is with DirecTV Stream Choice. Best of all, DirecTV Stream packages all start with a five-day free trial. You need to pay for DirecTV Stream's Ultimate plan ($119.99 per month) to get all the channels you need to watch games on national channels: ABC, ESPN, NHL Network, TBS, and TNT.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers Team News & Key Leaders

Florida Panthers

The Panthers have only one injury concern heading into the game, with Oliver Ekman-Larsson listed as day-to-day (upper-body).

Florida kicked off the season without injured defensemen Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad, but Gustav Forsling more than held his own and alongside Niko Mikkola combined for 12.5 defensive point shares and 226 blocked shots.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had an outstanding season, posting a.915 save percentage and a 2.37 goals-against average on 1584 shots, with 18.1 goals saved over average.

Forward Sam Reinhart had a breakout season, scoring a career high 57 goals while providing 37 assists. He was tied with forward Matthew Tkachuk (26 goals, 62 assists) with 55 even-strength points. The rest of the offense has made itself count as well. Alexsander Barkov, Carter Verhaeghe, and Sam Bennett combined for 77 goals and 116 assists.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Haydn Fleury (upper body), Jonas Johansson (lower body), Mikhail Sergachev (leg), Tyler Motte (lower body) and Luke Glendening (upper body) have all been listed as out on Tampa Bay's injury report.

The offense has carried the Tampa Bay Lightning all season. Nikita Kucherov led the way with 44 goals and 100 assists, while Brayden Point contributed 46 goals and 44 assists, but the rest of the offence also performed admirably.

Steven Stamkos, Brandon Hagel, and Nick Paul combined for 90 goals and 112 assists, while defenseman Victor Hedman contributed 13 goals and 63 assists from the point to propel the offence to the top. However, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had a tough campaign with a .921 save percentage, seven shutouts and a 2.90 goals-against.

Head-to-Head Record

17/03/24Florida Panthers 3-5 Tampa Bay LightningNHL
18/02/24Tampa Bay Lightning 2-9 Florida PanthersNHL
28/12/23Tampa Bay Lightning 2-3 Florida PanthersNHL
08/10/23Florida Panthers 2-4 Tampa Bay LightningNHL Preseason
06/10/23Tampa Bay Lightning 3-6 Florida PanthersNHL Preseason