Panthers (0-0-0 0P) vs Lightning (0-0-0 0P)
- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 7:00ish
- WHERE: Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL
- ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, SUN Sports
- ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 640 WMEN (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
- GOODIES: Official Watch Party tonight! (Details)
- SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #GoBolts, #FLAvsTBL, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
- ENEMY INTEL: Raw Charge
- SB NATION: Game Feature Hub
- FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 1 of 4 (0-0-0)
- ALL-TIME vs TBL (RS): 64W-39L-10T 5TL 8SOL 387GF 339GA
- ALL-TIME at TBL (RS): 27W-27L-6T 1OTL 3SOL 188GF 181GA
- LAST MEETING: Host TBL 3, FLA 2 - (Recap) - 03/11/2017
- NEXT MEETING: October 7, 2017
- PROJECTED STARTERS: Luongo (0-0-0 .000/0.00 0SO) vs Vasilevskiy (0-0-0 .000/0.00 0SO)
- PLAYER STATS: Florida / Tampa Bay
Both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers missed the playoffs last season after making them the year before, and as they open the 2017-18 season Friday with a home-and-home series, there's excitement about getting back to the postseason.
The Lightning, who went 42-30-10 last season, start their optimism with the healthy return of center Steven Stamkos, who was limited to 17 games last season. Andrei Vasilevskiy opens the season as a No. 1 goalie for the first time, taking over that role after Ben Bishop was traded away last season.
Florida has had more change, with longtime leader Jaromir Jagr gone and former San Jose Sharks assistant Bob Boughner in his first season as head coach.
"I told the guys we have great character, we have great players. It's just a matter of taking it upon ourselves: Why not us?" Boughner said, inheriting a team that went 35-36-11 and finished 13 points behind the Lightning in the standings. (More via AP)
- Idle: BOS (2P), DET (2P), MON (2P), TOR (2P), BUF (1P), OTT (1P)
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