Typically, every year after the free agency frenzy calms down; there is a lull in action around the NHL. Two announcements always correlate to training camp coming up, the first being the date that single-game regular season tickets go on sale, the second is what time the puck drops for each game around the league. Yesterday, the former was announced. Today? We’ve got game times for the Tampa Bay Lightning! For the sake of redundancy, the dates for each game are listed where you can purchase your single-game tickets. However, these are your notable timestamps for the games you absolutely must watch.
If you’re an avid fan who sits down to watch every game, I get it; this isn’t for you. But these are still games that you should circle on your calendar and set a reminder on your cell phone for, just in case.
On the same night when the Lightning will raise the Stanley Cup champion banner, they will host the last team to win the title back-to-back, the Pittsburgh Penguins. As it stands now, the Bolts and Penguins game is the only game to be featured on ESPN. That will change as ESPN has not fully updated its programming schedule. There will be the vast majority of games on ESPN+, however. Of course, if you live in the surrounding area of Tampa, you’ll be able to catch every game on the newly renamed Bally Sports (formerly known as Fox Sports).
The Governor’s Cup is always a good matchup, especially when both of Florida’s teams are contenders. The Florida Panthers and Lightning have met 152 times since their first meeting on October 9, 1993. While the Panthers have the edge in the all-time series 73-52-10-17, the Lightning holds a 4-2 advantage in the playoffs after eliminating their rivals to the south in the first round. Obviously, this is not a playoff game. However, early in the season, we could see these two teams add to their 97 total fights before wear-and-tear sets in.
A potential preview of the Stanley Cup Final as the odds-on favorites from the Eastern and Western Conferences clash on the second Saturday of the season. Our partners at WynnBet, actually have the Colorado Avalanche as their favorites to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup at the end of the season at +475, with the Lightning right behind them at +600.
The Yanni Gourde homecoming game is the perfect way to start your weekend when the Seattle Kraken plays at Amalie Arena. Outside of watching Gourde take the ice, the main importance of the game is to see what this new team has to offer. Remember, the Vegas Golden Knights have finished atop the Pacific Division in 3-out-of-4 seasons in the league, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season, 2017-2018.
The Stanley Cup rematch should be hard-hitting, and if nothing else, Amalie Arena will be loud. This isn’t necessarily a bad blood rivalry, at least not to the teams playing. If you take to social media, the way fans are treating this- says otherwise. Also, new Lightning Corey Perry will be playing against his former team for the first time.
The Lightning will travel to Nashville to take on the Predators in their first-ever NHL Stadium Series game. This might be the most exciting game to watch during the regular season as you’ve never seen the Lightning play outside unless it’s playing around during a boat parade. Nashville’s average temperature in February has a high-low of 52/32 degrees, pair that with an early evening game time of 5:30 PM CST, and you’ve got yourself a visual for the ages.