The Lightning are set to kick off their 20th Anniversary season Jan 19 at home against the Alexander Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals. Puck drop is set to occur at 7pm. This game will likely be shown on SunSports, though that hasn’t yet been confirmed.
The Lightning have no games on NBC but seven slated to be shown on NBC Sports Network or NHL Network. Of those, four are against either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Philadelphia Flyers. Most other games can probably be seen on SunSports as usual.
The Lightning welcome Benoit Pouliot‘s former team, the Boston Bruins, to the Tampa Bay Times Forum Feb 21. The team then travels to TD Garden in Boston March 2.
The Lightning host the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that had Tampa Bay’s number last season, on Feb 19 and April 24. They also travel to Air Canada Centre in Toronto March 20. Maybe this time Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs’ power play won’t torch us for a large number of goals.
Divisionally, the Lightning play the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes five times each, but the Winnipeg Jets and Capitals only four times each. Personally, I wish they had made the Canes a four-timer and Caps a five-timer because the Caps always play the Lightning close.
February will be a mentally (and maybe physically) exhausting month for the Lightning as they play 15 games, eight on the road, including an early four-game road trip. April will mainly be played on the road as well. Heck, what else can you expect when trying to fit 48 games into a three and a half month period?
There won’t be any regular season inter-conference play this season so Lightning newcomers, such as Anders Lindback and Sami Salo, must wait until 2013-14 to face their former teams.
The Lightning will close out their 48 game schedule April 27 at home against the Panthers. Of course, with the season ending later than usual the playoffs are expected to go until late June. Actually, the last possible date for a Stanley Cup final game is June 28. Yes, us Floridians will be in our short shorts and flip flops by the time a champion’s crowned. Then again, what do you expect in hockey paradise?
Single-game Lightning tickets will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at the McDonald’s Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. To show their fan appreciation, the Lightning will pay all Ticketmaster fees if you buy them Monday until midnight. Additionally, all fans attending Fan Fest at 9am Sunday Jan 13 will have the opportunity to purchase tickets at that time.