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Lightning opener to be part of doubleheader on ESPN

The Oct. 11 game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden is one of 14 appearances Tampa Bay will make on national television this season.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (91) shoots a puck on New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) duing Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final in June in Tampa.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (91) shoots a puck on New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) duing Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final in June in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Sep. 7|Updated Sep. 9

The Lightning will open the 2022-23 regular season in the national spotlight and spend much of the season there.

The Oct. 11 opener against the Rangers (7:30 p.m.), who the Lightning eliminated in last season’s Eastern Conference final, will be part of ESPN’s opening-night doubleheader, to be followed by the Kings vs. Golden Knights (10).

Related: Lightning release 82-game schedule for 2022-23 season

It is one of eight appearances the Lightning will make on ESPN’s family of networks this coming season and 14 on national television, including six on TNT.

The Oct. 26 game at Anaheim, which is a national TNT broadcast, will be shown locally exclusively on Bally Sports Sun, which will broadcast 69 of Tampa Bay’s 82 games. All other Lightning broadcasts on TNT are national exclusives.

Other ESPN highlights include Oct. 21 at the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers, who the Lightning swept in the second round of the playoffs; Feb. 9 against the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche; and April 11 against the Maple Leafs, which Tampa Bay edged in the opening round. The Feb. 11 game at Dallas will be part of an ABC Saturday doubleheader.

The Lightning’s six appearances on TNT are tied with the Bruins and Avalanche for second-most on the 62-game schedule the network released Wednesday. Only the Rangers and Penguins, with seven, have more.

The TNT slate includes an April 5 game at the Rangers and March 5 at Carolina, which Tampa Bay dispatched in the second round of the 2021 playoffs en route to the second of back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. In addition, the Lightning will be part of doubleheaders on Nov. 8 and 25.

The NHL also announced nine start-time changes to the Lightning schedule (see below).

Lightning national broadcast schedule

Oct. 11: at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN+)

Oct. 18: vs. Flyers, 7 (ESPN, ESPN+)

Oct. 21: at Panthers, 7:30 (ESPN+/Hulu)

Oct. 26: at Ducks, 10 (TNT)

Nov. 8: vs. Oilers, 7:30 (TNT)

Nov. 13: vs. Capitals, 7 (ESPN)

Nov. 25: vs. Blues, 8 (TNT)

Jan. 4: at Wild, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)

Feb. 9: vs. Avalanche, 7 (ESPN)

Feb. 11: at Stars, 1 (ABC, ESPN+)

Feb. 18: at Golden Knights, 11 (ESPN, ESPN+)

March 5: at Hurricanes, 3 (TNT)

April 5: at Rangers, 7:30 (TNT)

April 11: vs. Maple Leafs, 7 (ESPN)

Start-time changes

Oct. 18: vs. Flyers, 7

Oct. 21: at Panthers, 7:30

Oct. 29: at Sharks, 4:30

Nov. 25: vs. Blues, 8

Dec. 10: vs. Panthers, 4:30

Dec. 21: at Red Wings, 7:30

Dec. 31: vs. Coyotes, 5

Feb. 18: at Golden Knights, 11

Feb. 25: at Red Wings, 8

Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this story.

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