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Short Shifts

Lightning to raise 2020 Stanley Cup banner Saturday in front of fans

Special ceremony planned with crowd allowed for first time since last March

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / Staff Writer

Expect some thunderous applause from fans on what will finally be a banner night in Tampa on Saturday.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning plan to raise their 2020 banner when fans are allowed back into Amalie Arena. It will be the first time fans can attend a Lightning game since the 2019-20 NHL season was paused last March due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The banner ceremony will be part of what the Lightning are calling "Re-Opening Night" against the Nashville Predators. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The banner was revealed before the team's first home game of the season Jan. 13, but it was ceremoniously stopped well short of its permanent home in the rafters with no fans in attendance. Lightning players looked on and tapped their sticks as the banner was unveiled.

Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup without fans in attendance for games in the Toronto and Edmonton bubbles, but the team certainly received plenty of support from back home.

The Lightning ran a fan participation campaign cleverly titled "Be The Distant Thunder," which included, among other things, shipping a piece of glass signed by fans to be installed at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto during the first two rounds of the playoffs.

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