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Lightning to Open 2009-10 Home Schedule Oct. 8 vs. New Jersey

by Brian Breseman / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning will open their 17th National Hockey League season on Saturday, October 3 when they face the Atlanta Thrashers at 7 p.m. at Philips Arena. They will open the home portion of their schedule on Thursday, October 8 against the New Jersey Devils.

The Lightning will begin the season playing seven of their first 11 games at the St. Pete Times Forum.  In the month of November Tampa Bay will play nine of 14 games on the road, including a trip that will send them Phoenix, Anaheim and Carolina.  They will also finish the season with four of the final five games at home.  

Of the Lightning’s 41 home dates at the St. Pete Times Forum, 25 will take place on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.     Tampa Bay will play in 12 back-to-back situations with none of them including two consecutive home games. Tampa Bay’s regular season concludes on Sunday, April 11 at Florida as the second half of a home-and-home series with the Panthers.

The best way to buy 2009-10 tickets is through a Lightning ticket plan with ticket packages starting as low as $79.  Groups of 10 or more are now on sale by calling 813.301.6900.  A single-game ticket on-sale date will be announced at a later time.  For more information regarding ticket packages and pricing call 813.301.6600.  

As instituted last season, the Lightning will play each Western Conference team at least once and each team within its division six times.  They will host the San Jose Sharks on October 22, Minnesota Wild on November 12, Los Angeles Kings on November 14, Edmonton Oilers on December 9, Anaheim Ducks on January 29, Calgary Flames on February 6, Vancouver Canucks on February 9 and Phoenix Coyotes on March 16.

Among the highlights of the home schedule are two visit by the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins (Jan. 2, Mar. 14), three meetings with the cross-state rival Florida Panthers (Oct. 12, Jan. 14, Apr. 10) and three visits by Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (Dec. 7, Jan. 12, Mar. 20).

At the St. Pete Times Forum
The Lightning will play host to a five-game home-stand and five sets of a four-game home-stands this season. The five-game stand is December 23 (Philadelphia), December 26 (Atlanta), December 28 (Boston), December 30 (Montreal) and January 2 (Pittsburgh).

On the road
The 2009-10 season will include four four-game road trips, including two in November.  The longest Lightning trip of the season will be a six-game journey from December 11-21 (Colorado, Chicago, Nashville, Detroit, St. Louis and N.Y. Islanders).

Back to back
The Lightning will play 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, eight with both games on the road, none with both games at home, three with the first game at home and one with the first game on the road. The first set of back-to-back games will be at Philadelphia Monday, Nov. 2 and at Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

View 2009-10 season schedule.
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