TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have added an exhibition game against HC Slovan of the Slovak Extraliga, the top professional hockey league in Slovakia, at 1 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local) on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008 at Samsung Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. This will be the first-ever NHL exhibition game in Slovakia.
"The Tampa Bay Lightning are thrilled to be involved in this historic event that will see us be the first club in National Hockey League history to play a game in Slovakia,” Lightning vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said. “We would like to thank HC Slovan owner Eric Assimakopoulos for all of his efforts in making this game possible as we round out our exhibition schedule before opening the 2008 NHL season in Prague!"
The Lightning will be in Europe preparing for their NHL regular-season games against the New York Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic at the O2 Arena on Saturday Oct. 4 and Sunday Oct. 5 as part of NHL Premiere 2008. The team is also scheduled to face Eisbaren Berlin in a preseason matchup at 10 a.m. ET (4 p.m. local) on Sunday, September 28.
Along with the games in Prague, the NHL will host regular-season games in Stockholm Oct. 4-5 when the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins play two games. It will be the first time two NHL games will be played in Europe on the same day. The League in 2007 played its first-ever regular-season games in Europe when the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings played a two-game series in London. Previously, the NHL hosted three successful Game One events in Japan in 1997, 1998, and 2000.
The Lightning will play a total of six preseason games in 2008, including two at the St. Pete Times Forum. Tampa Bay opens the preseason at Mellon Arena against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Saturday, September 20 (7:30 p.m.), and the teams will travel to the St. Pete Times Forum for a re-match Monday, September 22 (7:30 p.m.). Tampa Bay will then host the first of a home-and-home set with the Rangers on Tuesday, September 23 (7:30 p.m.), before heading to Madison Square Garden on Thursday, September 25 (7 p.m.) in their final pre-season game in North America.
Individual tickets for the Lightning’s two preseason home games (9/22 vs. Pittsburgh, 9/23 vs. the New York Rangers) are on sale now and can be purchased at the McDonald’s Box Office at the St. Pete Times Forum and all Ticketmaster outlets. To order tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at 813.287.8844 or 727.898.2100. Also, fans can go online to tampabaylightning.com.
Following is the updated schedule of games for the Lightning’s 2008 preseason: