Slovakia game added to European trip
The Lightning's preseason jaunt to Europe is becoming quite a country-hopping affair. The team and league announced another exhibition game in Slovakia on Sept. 30 against HC Slovan of that country's Extraliga. It will be the first NHL game ever played in Slovakia. It will be Tampa Bay's sixth preseason game before opening the regular season Oct. 4-5 against the Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic.
Here is the announcement from the team:
The Lightning has added an exhibition game against HC Slovan of the Slovak Extraliga, the top professional hockey league in Slovakia, at 1 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local) on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008 at Samsung Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. This will be the first-ever NHL exhibition game in Slovakia.
"The Tampa Bay Lightning are thrilled to be involved in this historic event that will see us be the first club in National Hockey League history to play a game in Slovakia," hockey operations chief Brian Lawton said. "We would like to thank HC Slovan owner Eric Assimakopoulos for all of his efforts in making this game possible as we round out our exhibition schedule before opening the 2008 NHL season in Prague!"
The Lightning will be in Europe preparing for their NHL regular-season games against the New York Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic at the O2 Arena on Saturday Oct. 4 and Sunday Oct. 5 as part of NHL Premiere 2008. The team is also scheduled to face Eisbaren Berlin in a preseason matchup at 10 a.m. ET (4 p.m. local) on Sunday, September 28.
Along with the games in Prague, the NHL will host regular-season games in Stockholm Oct. 4-5 when the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins play two games. It will be the first time two NHL games will be played in Europe on the same day. The League in 2007 played its first-ever regular-season games in Europe when the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings played a two-game series in London. Previously, the NHL hosted three successful Game One events in Japan in 1997, 1998, and 2000.
The Lightning's updated preseason schedule is as follows (times eastern):
Sept. 20: at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: vs. Pittsburgh, St. Pete Times Forum, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: vs. Rangers, St. Pete Times Forum, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 25: at Rangers, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28: at Eisbaren Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 10 a.m.
Sept. 30: at HC Slovan, Bratislava, Slovakia, 1 p.m.