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Lightning to open Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday

Tampa Bay will play Carolina or the New York Rangers in the conference final, with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Lightning players celebrate on the bench after Ondrej Palat's empty-net goal clinched a 2-0 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of their second-round series Monday at Amalie Arena.
Lightning players celebrate on the bench after Ondrej Palat's empty-net goal clinched a 2-0 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of their second-round series Monday at Amalie Arena. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published May 28

TAMPA — The Lightning don’t know yet which team they will face in the Eastern Conference Final, but they now know when the series will begin.

Tampa Bay will play Game 1 at Carolina or New York Wednesday at 8 p.m.

The Hurricanes lead their second-round series with the Rangers 3-2 heading into Game 6 Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

The Lightning will play Games 1 and 2 on the road Wednesday and Friday — both 8 p.m. starts — then host Games 3 and 4 at Amalie Arena on Sunday, June 5 (3 p.m.) and Tuesday, June 7 ( 8 p.m.).

If necessary, sites then alternate for Game 5 (Thursday, June 9 at Carolina or New York), Game 6 (Saturday, June 11 in Tampa) and Game 7 (Tuesday, June 14 at Carolina or New York). All would be 8 p.m. starts.

By the time the series begins, the Lightning will have had eight days off since sweeping the Panthers in their second-round series.

The Eastern Conference Final will be televised on ESPN.

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