With the release of the 2013-14 NHL season, the Tampa Bay Lightning can circle October 3 as the beginning of their 82-game campaign. With a full season on the books, there is a lot to look forward to.
Much like last season―the 20th anniversary of the franchise―the Lightning enter this season with something to commemorate. Ten years ago, Tampa Bay hoisted the Stanley Cup and aim for similar success in 2013-14.
With the new four-division format, the Lightning move to the Atlantic Division. The division includes Boston, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Florida and Ottawa. The Bolts will face each division team four times (two home, two road). Ottawa (three home, two road) and Detroit (two home, three road) get the additional game for this season.
The new schedule also brings each of the 29 other teams to the Times Forum. The new format and schedule allows each team to play every non-conference team twice (one home, one road).
For a total breakdown of the games:
Western Conference Opponents: 14 teams, two games each = 28
Eastern Conference non-division opponents: 8 Teams, three games each = 24
Atlantic Division Opponents: Seven Teams, four games each (additional game for two opponents) = 30
Total: 82 games
Here are the biggest games and stretches for the Lightning in 2013-14.