Tampa Bay Lightning Announce 2014 Pre-Season Schedule

The Tampa Bay Lightning will play preseason home-and-homes with the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, and Florida Panthers starting on Tuesday, September 23 at the Times Forum.

The Tampa Bay Lightning released their pre-season schedule today.

Per the release from the team:

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning will play a total of six preseason games in 2014, the team announced today. They will kick-off their preseason schedule on Tuesday, September 23 against the Nashville Predators at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Bolts play the Predators, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers each twice during the preseason.

The Lightning travel to Nashville to play their first road preseason game on Thursday, September 25 at Bridgestone Arena. Tampa Bay also plays road games against the Stars and Panthers during the preseason. The Bolts wrap-up their 2014 preseason schedule on Saturday, October 4 at the Times Forum with a game against the Panthers.

Ticket on-sale dates for all games will be announced at a later date.

Tampa Bay is 20-8-3 during the preseason dating back to 2008 and also went 5-2-0 last year.

The following is the schedule of games for the Lightning's 2014 preseason:

Date Time Venue Opponent
Tuesday, September 23 7:30 PM Tampa Bay Times Forum Nashville Predators
Thursday, September 25 8:00 PM Bridgestone Arena Nashville Predators
Friday, September 26 7:30 PM Tampa Bay Times Forum Dallas Stars
Tuesday, September 30 8:30 PM American Airlines Center Dallas Stars
Thursday, October 2 7:30 PM BB&T Center Florida Panthers
Saturday, October 4 7:00 PM Tampa Bay Times Forum Florida Panthers

As for pre-season games somewhere other than Tampa:

It does seem a bit like a missed opportunity for the Lightning not to try and play at least one pre-season game somewhere outside of Tampa to help grow the brand. This has been a point of discussion for us at Raw Charge. Particularly with the Atlanta Thrashers gone since the summer of 2011, there's a serious vacuum of professional hockey in most of the immediate area surrounding Tampa -- as Cassie McLellan points out, basically from the Everglades up to Carolina Hurricanes country is up for grabs.

While it's important to grow and solidify your base, not playing a game at least in Orlando and continuing fan outreach into Northern Florida seems like a missed opportunity.

As for the regular season schedule, that will reportedly be released this weekend.