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2011 Lightning Schedule: Tampa Bay Battles Blackhawks, Panthers Over The Weekend

The Lightning have a busy weekend ahead of them as they'll face Western powerhouse Chicago and Southeast rival Florida.

The Tampa Bay Lightning (5-5-2, 12 points) play twice in three nights this weekend, Nov. 4-6, as they look to climb the Southeast Division standings.

Friday, Nov. 4, the Lightning travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Blackhawks (7-2-2, 16 points), who lead the Central Division. The Blackhawks rank among the best teams in hockey, but they've yet to string together more than two consecutive wins on the season, something they can do with a victory over the Lightning.

After a travel day, the Lightning host the in-state rival Florida Panthers (6-4-1, 13 points), who rank No. 2 in the Southeast. Tampa Bay can avenge an early-season defeat in a home-and-home set against the Panthers. Florida took the first game, 3-2, in a shootout, then pounded the Lightning, 7-4, at the St. Pete Times Forum two nights later.

The Lightning trail the Panthers by just one point in the Southeast, so they can ill afford to drop both of their games over the weekend.

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