The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a berth in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight with a 2-1 win against possible first-round opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in front of 20,126 at the St. Pete Times Forum. After tonight the Lightning have five games remaining, one at home (Friday, April 8 vs. Florida) and four on the road.
The Lightning will make their first playoff appearance since the 2007 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, when they fell to the New Jersey Devils in six games. Before missing the playoffs in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Tampa Bay had made the playoffs in four consecutive seasons from 2003-2007, winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2004 and winning two Southeast Division Championships (2003, 2004)
With five games remaining, the Lightning still have plenty to play for. They can still finish as high as first in the Eastern Conference with home ice advantage at stake as well. The Bolts will hit the road for a three-game trip that goes through Minnesota, Chicago and Buffalo starting Saturday. The Lightning then return to host the Florida Panthers on Friday, April 8 at the Times Forum before visiting the Hurricanes on April 9 to close out the regular season.
The NHL’s Conference Quarter-Finals are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, April 13, but the Lightning’s individual schedule may vary and will be announced at a later date.
Fans are invited to join the team and show their spirit by picking up a free Bolts Nation Fan Pack. They will receive a Bolts drawstring backpack filled with all of the promotional materials a Lightning fan will need to get ready for the playoffs, such as a T-shirt, magnet, sticker and more. Yard signs are also available for those who would like to display their support at their home or office. Bolts Nation Fan Packs can be picked up at the MetroPCS Client Services Lounge at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The best way to catch all the exhilarating playoff action is to lock in 2011-12 Lightning Season Tickets. Not only will fans freeze pricing from this season, but they will also have the opportunity to “Cheer Now, Pay Later” for the playoffs. Benefits also include concert and event priority, free tickets to the 2011 Lightning Launch Weekend Concert, guaranteed giveaways and more. An on-sale for single game tickets will be announced at a later date. For more information call 813.301.6600