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Breaking the ICE // ICE PALACE GRAND OPENING

Robert Richardson, on stilts, entertains fans lined up to buy the 5,000 commemorative programs that were for sale after the ribbon cutting.

Tampa Bay Lightning president Steve Oto, center, and general manager Phil Esposito shake hands after cutting ice ribbon to officially open the Ice Palace.

Sunday night was opening night for the Tampa Bay Lightning at their new home _ the $160-million Ice Palace in downtown Tampa.

Players' images are projected on the scoreboard suspended above center ice as the starting lineups are introduced to the crowd for the home opener.

Phil Esposito converses with Lightning goalie Daren Puppa and his wife, Meg, during a reception at the Ice Palace.

Their faces painted in team colors, Lightning fans Jamie Davis and Bill Gribble of Zephyrhills, above, cheer during the opening ceremonies for the Ice Palace.

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