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NHL sets start times for Lightning's first two round robin games

Games against Washington and Boston to begin at 4 p.m.; Bolts to face Panthers in exhibition game on July 29 at noon

by Jacob Lynn @TBLightning /

We now know exactly when the Lightning will return to the ice for game action in Toronto.

The NHL announced on Wednesday the start times for Tampa Bay's first two games of the round robin at Scotiabank Arena. The Bolts begin play on August 3 against the Capitals at 4 p.m. and face the Bruins two days later at 4 p.m. The Lightning's round robin finale against the Flyers has now been moved to August 8 with the time still to be announced. 

Additionally, the Bolts will also skate in an exhibition game against the Panthers on July 29 at 12 p.m.

Tampa Bay experienced varying degrees of success against their three round robin opponents during the 2019-20 regular season. The Bolts lost all three of their matchups against the Caps, picking up just a single point in an overtime defeat back in November. Tampa Bay and Boston completed the regular season series prior to the pause, with the Bolts going 3-1-0 versus their Atlantic Division rivals. Against the Flyers, the Lightning won both matchups with the third meeting cancelled.

The Bolts have already qualified for the playoffs with these games being played in order to determine seeding. No matter their results in the round robin, the Lightning will advance to a seven-game series versus the winner of one of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers. 

Broadcast information for all the games has yet to be made available.

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