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Lightning To Open 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Wednesday

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning will open the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, April 13 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bolts will hit home ice for the first time in Game 3 on Monday, April 18 at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Penguins hold the home ice advantage by nature of having the fourth seed.

Playoff Schedule

2011 Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Schedule

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs.
(5) Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Game 1 Wed., April 13 CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA) 7 p.m.
  • Game 2 Fri., April 15 CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA) 7 p.m.
  • Game 3 Mon., April 18 St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, FL) 7:30 p.m.
  • Game 4 Wed., April 20 St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, FL) 7:00 p.m.
  • Game 5* Sat., April 23 CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA) TBD
  • Game 6* Mon., April 25 St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, FL) TBD
  • Game 7* Wed., April 27 CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA) TBD

* - If necessary

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. This will be the first time the Lightning and Penguins will meet in the postseason. 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).

The Lightning are coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history, having tied the franchise record of the 2004 Stanley Cup team for overall wins with 46 and home wins with 25. Tampa Bay scored more goals at home with 134 than any other Eastern Conference team. Only the Calgary Flames matched them in the entire league. The Philadelphia Flyers (256) and Boston Bruins (244) were the only teams to score more goals overall than the Bolts’ 241 in the conference. Tampa Bay finished with the Eastern Conference’s best power play (sixth in the NHL), converting on 69 of 336 chances for a 20.5 percent conversion rate.

The Lightning enter the playoffs as winners of seven of their final eight regular season games, including a 2-1 win against the Penguins at the St. Pete Times Forum on March 31. Martin St. Louis finished the season on a nine-game point streak with five goals and 14 points. Overall he finished second in the NHL with 68 assists and 99 points. Captain Vincent Lecavalier finished the year on a four-game goal streak with five goals during that span. He also finished seventh in the league in power play goals. Simon Gagne, who has played more playoff games than any other Lightning player with 90, ended the campaign with five goals and 12 points in the final nine games. Steven Stamkos finished second in the NHL for goals with 45, power play goals with 17 and fifth in points with 91. Goaltender Dwayne Roloson, after being acquired from the New York Islanders on January 1, went on to post an 18-12-4 record with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage with four shutouts.

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. For more information call 813.301.6600.

Single game tickets starting at $22 are also on sale by visiting the McDonald’s Box Office at the St. Pete Times Forum or at Ticketmaster.com.

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