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Lightning welcome a breather at home before hitting the road again

Journal: Tampa Bay will spend three games at home before another extended stint on the road, and tonight’s post-game concert is moving inside.
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) scores against Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) in a shootout on Oct. 17 in Boston. The Lightning won 4-3. [ELISE AMENDOLA | AP]
Published Oct. 19
Updated Oct. 19

TAMPA — The travel never gets easier, but as Steven Stamkos put it, it’s all part of the job .

Your own bed, a home-cooked meal — “You can’t beat that,” says Stamkos — these are things that players miss when away from Tampa Bay.

The Lightning are beginning a three-game home-stint coming off a six-game stretch on the road. And while many of these players are used to the mental and physical fatigue that often accompanies a road trip, it’s refreshing to be back in familiar territory, at least for a little bit.

Tampa Bay tallied seven points away from Amalie Arena with wins against Toronto, Montreal and Boston, and an overtime loss at Carolina.

“I think we were pretty exhausted by the end of our last trip,” Stamkos said. “It’s better to do it at the beginning of the year, I think, than at the end. You’re a little more fresh right now, and if you can gather up some points on the road like we just did, it’s only going to help us down the stretch when we have more home games.”

Ryan McDonagh also feels the wear and tear being away from home for so long.

“It’s always tough,” McDonagh said. “But at the same time, you have your teammates there and you’re all battling together. You have to make do with what you’ve got.”

And he likes having that kind of test early on in the season because it helps the team grow playing at another team’s venue, battling against the energy of the opponent's home crowd.

“You get to see a little bit of everything ... and you don’t get to dictate as much as far as matchups,” he said. “It creates a challenge for everyone to be 100 percent on the same page and get battle-tested.”

Tonight’s home game against the Avalanche feels like another home opener, McDonagh said.

Following Tampa Bay’s three-game stint at home, the Lightning will hit the road again, against the Rangers, Devils and Islanders before traveling abroad to Stockholm, Sweden, for the NHL Global Series against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 8 and 9.

After Tampa Bay’s matchup against the Predators next weekend, the team won’t be back home until Nov. 14 when it takes on the New York Rangers.

“We got one more big trip coming up and then you can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the schedule, where we can play a more consistent home and away schedule,” Stamkos said.

Post-game concert moved inside due to weather

Chris Lucas, left, and Preston Brust, right, of LoCash, and from left, Kaitlyn Lucas and Kristen White arrive at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7 in Las Vegas. [JORDAN STRAUSS | Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]

Lightning fans won’t have to worry about the remnants of Tropical Storm Nestor after tonight’s game. The Pepsi concert featuring LoCash will be inside Amalie Arena instead of on Thunder Alley as originally planned.

Fans without tickets to the Lighting-Avalanche game can still attend the concert. Wristbands are available for pickup at the ReliaQuest Ticket Office up to 30 minutes after the game ends.

Fans can start lining up outside of the ticket office when the third period begins. They’ll get moved inside following the end of the game.

Wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, and those with tickets to the game will not need a wristband to attend the concert.

The event celebrates Pepsi’s partnership with the Lightning, which is new this season after Tampa Bay’s deal with Coca-Cola Co. expired. Amalie Arena is the only pro sports venue in the area with a Pepsi deal as Raymond James Stadium and Tropicana Field are both sponsored by Coca-Cola Co.


  1. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn (2) celebrates his goal, the first of the game, along with right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) and center Tyler Johnson (9) beating New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Lightning 9, Rangers 3: Tampa Bay posts its highest-scoring game of the last two seasons.
  2. Pictured from the center ice display, LT Robert McClintock, 101 years old, from the US Army Air Corps (Ret.), performs the National Anthem along with USAF Technical Sergeant (Ret.) Sonya Bryson (not pictured) before the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the New York Rangers on Military Appreciation Night at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa.  DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Lightning brought back Robert McClintock to join Sonja Bryson, also a veteran, for Military Appreciation Night
  3. The Lightning return to home ice and dominate the Rangers
  4. The Lightning's Victor Hedman (77). Alex Killorn (17) and Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrate after an NHL hockey game against the Sabres in Globen Arena, Stockholm last week. ANDERS WIKLUND/TT  |  AP
    Tampa Bay’s schedule returns to a more normal pace tonight when it takes on the young, gritty Rangers.
  5. In this March 24, 2010, file photo, hockey personality Don Cherry, right, speaks during a news conference as actor Jared Keeso is displayed on a video screen while playing Cherry in the bio film "Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story" in Toronto. Sportsnet cut ties with Cherry on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, after the veteran hockey commentator called new immigrants "you people" on his "Coach's Corner" segment while claiming they do not wear poppies to honor Canadian veterans. DARREN CALABRESE  |  AP
    Cherry has not apologized for his remarks.
  6. The Stockholm City Library turned out to be the perfect place to get engaged. SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
    Stockholm City Library has a beautiful round hall that turned out to be the perfect place to get engaged
  7. Patrick Maroon of Tampa Bay Lightning against Buffalo on Nov. 9 in Stockholm. JONAS LJUNGDAHL  |  Bildbyran via ZUMA Press
    The team got practice, a reset and bonding from the week in Stockholm.
  8. Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning look on during the 2019 NHL Global Series Sweden, at the Ericsson Globe on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. DAVE SANDFORD/NHLI  |  TNS
    Plus, a challenge to the NHL Challenge system, Tyler Johnson’s Sweden highlights and a Jon Cooper question. | Diana C. Nearhos
  9. A full-color model of the Vasa sits in front of the 391-year-old reconstructed Swedish warship at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. DIANA NEARHOS  |  TIMES
    Swedish travels continue with two of the most popular attractions in Stockholm.
  10. Tampa celebrates after Victor Hedman, left, scored, during a NHL Global Series hockey match between the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning at the Globen Arena, in Stockholm Sweden, Saturday. JESSICA GOW/TT  |  AP
    Yanni Gourde scored twice and Pat Maroon once as Tampa Bay swept the Globe Series back-to-back against the Sabres