Panthers beat Maple Leafs; first-round playoff matchup with Lightning set

Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald on

Published in Hockey

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers have won the Atlantic Division, and their path for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs is now set.

First up: The Tampa Bay Lightning.

With a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday in their regular-season finale and a 3-1 Boston Bruins loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Panthers vaulted to the No. 1 spot in the Atlantic and will stay in the Sunshine State for the entirety of the first round of the postseason in its attempt to reach the Stanley Cup Final for a second consecutive season.

Game dates and times have not yet been announced for the best-of-7 series, but the Panthers will host Games 1, 2, 5 (if necessary) and 7 (if necessary). The Lightning will host Games 3, 4 and 6 (if necessary).

Here’s everything you need to know about the best-of-7 matchup.

How did the regular-season series between the Panthers and Lightning unfold?


The Panthers and Lightning played three times this season, with Florida going 2-1-0 against Tampa Bay.

Florida won 3-2 on Dec. 27 and 9-2 on Feb. 17 in Tampa before losing 5-3 against the Lightning on March 16 in Sunrise.

However, the Lightning has won both playoff series against the Panthers, winning in six games in the first round of the 2021 playoffs and sweeping Florida in the second round of the 2022 playoffs.

How did the Panthers and Lightning fare in the playoffs last year?


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