Former captain Marty St. Louis will make his return to Tampa on Nov. 26, a highlight of the Lightning schedule released Sunday by the league (see full schedule below).
St. Louis, who orchestrated his trade to the Rangers in March, is slated to face Tampa Bay first on Nov. 17 in New York. The teams will also meet Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden.
The Lightning will open and finish the season with three home games. The opener will be Oct. 9 against the Panthers, who are led by new coach and former Lightning forward Gerard Gallant. Tampa Bay's first trip will be one of four five-game stints. It starts in Vancouver on Oct. 18 and includes stops in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Minnesota.
The Lightning will have a light stretch with just four games in 16 days from Jan. 18 to Feb. 2. The West Coast trip will be Feb. 15-22, a five-game stint with three days off afterward. The longest homestand will be six games stretching over 13 days March 14-26. There are 12 sets of back-to-back games.
Among other key dates, the Lightning will play the Stanley Cup champion Kings on Feb. 7 (at home) and Feb. 16 (at Los Angeles).
The regular season will conclude with a three-game homestand capped April 11 against division rival Bruins, which won the President's Trophy.
Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]