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2011-2012 Tampa Bay Lightning Schedule Announced

Fresh of the heels of the Hockey Awards from Las Vegas Wednesday night, the NHL has ramped up the intensity Thursday by dropping the 2011-2012 NHL Schedule on the media sending shockwaves of excitement across the hockey world (Schedule releases are super exciting, right?...)

For the Tampa Bay Lightning, there are not many surprises. As many expected the team will start the new season on a road trip to help accommodate completion of the St. Petersburg Times Forum renovations. The 5-game road swing begins on Friday October 7th at Carolina and will be the longest road trip of the season for the Bolts, finishing at Florida on October 15th before the Lightning return home for their home opener on Monday October 17th, hosting those same Florida Panthers.

The Lightning will not make a major west Canada trip this year, or any trips to Aneheim or San Jose, presumably to offset the travel implications of the Thrashers move to Winnipeg. The new Winnipeg team will remain in the Southeastern Division for this season until realignment can be completed next season.

Games of note include the the Bolts hosting a rematch of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals as the Calgary Flames will visit the Forum on December 15th, and general manager Steve Yserman's first return trip to Detroit as GM of the Lightning on November 30th. The Canadiens also make their annual holiday visit to the Forum on December 29th, a game that is always a great draw for the team due to the traveling Habs fans.

The full schedule is as follows:

Fri Oct 7 TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA 7:00 PM ET
Sat Oct 8 TAMPA BAY @ BOSTON 7:00 PM ET
Mon Oct 10 TAMPA BAY @ WASHINGTON 7:00 PM ET
Thu Oct 13 TAMPA BAY @ NY ISLANDERS 7:00 PM ET
Sat Oct 15 TAMPA BAY @ FLORIDA 7:30 PM ET
Mon Oct 17 FLORIDA @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Oct 20 NY ISLANDERS @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Oct 22 BUFFALO @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Tue Oct 25 TAMPA BAY @ BUFFALO 7:00 PM ET
Thu Oct 27 TAMPA BAY @ NASHVILLE 8:00 PM ET
Sat Oct 29 Winnipeg NHL @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET

Tue Nov 1 TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA 7:00 PM ET
Fri Nov 4 CHICAGO @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sun Nov 6 TAMPA BAY @ FLORIDA 5:00 PM ET
Wed Nov 9 PHILADELPHIA @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Nov 12 TAMPA BAY @ ST LOUIS 8:00 PM ET
Mon Nov 14 TAMPA BAY @ Winnipeg NHL 8:30 PM ET
Thu Nov 17 PITTSBURGH @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Nov 19 NEW JERSEY @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Tue Nov 22 TORONTO @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Fri Nov 25 TAMPA BAY @ FLORIDA 7:30 PM ET
Sat Nov 26 FLORIDA @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Mon Nov 28 TAMPA BAY @ MINNESOTA 8:00 PM ET
Wed Nov 30 TAMPA BAY @ DETROIT 7:30 PM ET

Sat Dec 3 NY RANGERS @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Mon Dec 5 TAMPA BAY @ OTTAWA 7:30 PM ET
Tue Dec 6 TAMPA BAY @ NY ISLANDERS 7:00 PM ET
Thu Dec 8 TAMPA BAY @ NY RANGERS 7:00 PM ET
Sat Dec 10 TAMPA BAY @ PHILADELPHIA 7:00 PM ET
Mon Dec 12 NEW JERSEY @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Dec 15 CALGARY @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Dec 17 TAMPA BAY @ COLUMBUS 7:00 PM ET
Wed Dec 21 TAMPA BAY @ SAN JOSE 10:30 PM ET
Fri Dec 23 TAMPA BAY @ COLORADO 9:00 PM ET
Tue Dec 27 PHILADELPHIA @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Dec 29 MONTREAL @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Dec 31 CAROLINA @ TAMPA BAY 5:00 PM ET

Tue Jan 3 TAMPA BAY @ TORONTO 7:00 PM ET
Thu Jan 5 TAMPA BAY @ OTTAWA 7:30 PM ET
Sat Jan 7 TAMPA BAY @ MONTREAL 7:00 PM ET
Tue Jan 10 VANCOUVER @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Jan 12 CAROLINA @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Fri Jan 13 TAMPA BAY @ WASHINGTON 7:00 PM ET
Sun Jan 15 PITTSBURGH @ TAMPA BAY 1:00 PM ET
Tue Jan 17 BOSTON @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Fri Jan 20 TAMPA BAY @ DALLAS 8:30 PM ET
Sat Jan 21 TAMPA BAY @ PHOENIX 8:00 PM ET
Tue Jan 24 COLUMBUS @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Tue Jan 31 WASHINGTON @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET

Thu Feb 2 Winnipeg NHL @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Feb 4 FLORIDA @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Tue Feb 7 LOS ANGELES @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Feb 9 TAMPA BAY @ NY RANGERS 7:00 PM ET
Sat Feb 11 TAMPA BAY @ BUFFALO 7:00 PM ET
Sun Feb 12 TAMPA BAY @ PITTSBURGH 7:00 PM ET
Tue Feb 14 OTTAWA @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Feb 16 SAN JOSE @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Feb 18 WASHINGTON @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Tue Feb 21 ANAHEIM @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Feb 23 TAMPA BAY @ Winnipeg NHL 8:30 PM ET
Sat Feb 25 TAMPA BAY @ PITTSBURGH 1:00 PM ET
Sun Feb 26 TAMPA BAY @ NEW JERSEY 1:00 PM ET
Tue Feb 28 MONTREAL @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET

Fri Mar 2 NY RANGERS @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Mar 3 TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA 7:00 PM ET
Tue Mar 6 OTTAWA @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Mar 8 TAMPA BAY @ WASHINGTON 7:00 PM ET
Sat Mar 10 CAROLINA @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Tue Mar 13 BOSTON @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Mar 15 TORONTO @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Mar 17 ST LOUIS @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Mon Mar 19 BUFFALO @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Thu Mar 22 EDMONTON @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Sat Mar 24 NY ISLANDERS @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET
Mon Mar 26 TAMPA BAY @ PHILADELPHIA 7:00 PM ET
Tue Mar 27 TAMPA BAY @ BOSTON 7:00 PM ET
Thu Mar 29 TAMPA BAY @ NEW JERSEY 7:00 PM ET
Sat Mar 31 Winnipeg NHL @ TAMPA BAY 7:00 PM ET

Mon Apr 2 WASHINGTON @ TAMPA BAY 7:30 PM ET
Wed Apr 4 TAMPA BAY @ MONTREAL 7:30 PM ET
Thu Apr 5 TAMPA BAY @ TORONTO 7:00 PM ET
Sat Apr 7 TAMPA BAY @ Winnipeg NHL 7:00 PM ET

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.