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What to watch this weekend in Tampa Bay sports

The Lightning open the NHL season in Tampa, while the Bucs travel to New Orleans.
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, left, stops a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli as Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman trails the play during an overtime period of an NHL preseason hockey game. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, left, stops a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli as Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman trails the play during an overtime period of an NHL preseason hockey game. [CHRIS O'MEARA | AP]
Published Oct. 2, 2019

LIGHTNING: THE PUCK DROPS HERE

Can the Bolts cure the symptoms of their playoff collapse last season after dominating the NHL? The road to redemption starts Thursday night when Tampa Bay opens the 2019-20 season at home against the Florida Panthers. The teams play again Saturday across the state in Sunrise. (The Lightning follow up their first road game with one Sunday at Carolina.) Ticket prices vary. 7 p.m. Thursday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-6500. ticketmaster.com. TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM.

BUCS: BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS

Tampa Bay scored 55 points in the wild, upset road win over the Rams (but allowed 517 passing yards!), and the next two weeks will give us a good read on whether they can contend in the NFC South with consecutive division games. First up, it’s the Saints at New Orleans. The Saints are without Drew Brees — that has to be a good thing, right? 1 p.m. Sunday. TV/radio: Fox; 97.9-FM.

BICYCLING: RAILS TO TRAILS

Cyclists of all skill levels can explore old-Florida charm at the annual Rails to Trails ride that begins and ends at the trail head in Inverness. The 46-mile paved Withlacoochee State Trail takes riders on a meandering trip through one of the top destination trails in the country. There will be a continental breakfast before setting out for a ride of up to 100 miles. It ends with a catered lunch and medals for those who complete the Century (100 mile) and Metric Century (62 mile) rides. $40-$45, $15 children. 7 a.m. Sunday. Inverness Trail Head, 315 N Apopka Ave., Inverness. (352) 513-4183.

RUNNING

Halloween Glo Run: Put on a running-friendly costume for this untimed, glow-in-the-dark trail run. $10, $20 family. 8 p.m. Saturday. Highland Recreation Complex and Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. (727) 518-3016.

PCOS Challenge: A 5K run-walk to benefit the fight against Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. $25, $10 ages 12 and younger. 7 a.m. Saturday. Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave., Tampa. (404) 855-7244. events.pcoschallenge.org.

Michael DaCosta Memorial Run: A 5K run with a dog costume contest. Benefits Kind Mouse to feed Pinellas County children. $40-$50, $10 kids. 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Walsingham Park, 12615 102nd Ave. N, Largo. (727) 518-5575.

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  2. With the net empty for the Tampa Bay Lightning, defenseman Victor Hedman (77) look on as the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates their fifth goal of the game, scored by left wing Dominik Kubalik (8) who celebrates with left wing Brandon Saad (20) as Kubalik gets a hat trick during a third period five goal rally at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 in Tampa. The Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals and beat the Lightning with a final score of 5-2. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
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  4. Corky Rogers, coach of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, walks across the field as his team celebrates after beating Miami Booker T. Washington in the Class 4A state championship game on Dec. 10, 2011, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Rogers, who won more state titles than any coach in Florida high school football history, died Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 76. [WILL DICKEY  |  AP]
  5. USF tight end Mitch Wilcox took a hard spiral to the face during the "gauntlet drill" at the NFL scouting combine Thursday in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) [CHARLIE NEIBERGALL  |  AP]
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