Updated: Feb 25
(Photo via NHL)
By Jake Ricker
The Tampa Bay Lightning will be playing hockey outdoors for the first time in franchise history this Saturday, and we want to make sure you are fully prepared for the game. Here is everything you need to know for this upcoming Saturday, whether you're making the trip to Nashville or watching it at home.
For fans not making the trip to music city, don't worry; there is still a great way to watch the game with all your fellow Lightning fans. The Lightning will be hosting a watch party at Amalie Arena, which you can purchase tickets for here.
Despite this being the first time in franchise history the Lightning will be playing a game in the outdoors, it won't be a first for every player in a white and blue sweater.
This will be McDonagh's fifth outdoor game at the NHL level (He also played one outdoor game in college). McDonagh's last four outdoor games came when he was a New York Ranger, and in those games, the Rangers are 4-0. While he has yet to pick up a point in any of these games, there is no question McDonagh knows how to shut down the opposition when playing outside.
Corey Perry, who is most famous for his walk of shame in the outdoor game against the Predators, also played in one with the Ducks, where he scored the fifth fastest goal to start an outdoor game. Despite only playing only 38 seconds of the game against the Predators, Perry has also yet to lose an outdoor game he has participated in.
Pat Maroon has also played in two outdoor games, one with the Ducks and one with the Oilers. Despite not registering a point, Maroon is also undefeated when playing outdoors. Current lineman Pierre-Édouard Bellemare has also played in two outdoor games, both with the Avalanche. Bellmare did not register any points and holds a record of 1-1.
Next on the list is Zach Bogosian, who played with the Sabers in 2018. Unfortunately, Bogosian is still dealing with an injury and will miss this year's stadium series game. The last player on our list is Brian Elliott, who actually started in an outdoor game with the Flyers in 2019 against the Penguins. Elliott made 39 saves on 42 shots as the Flyers defeated the Penguins 4-3 in overtime. Elliott will surely be giving some advice to Vasilevskiy on how to handle playing games in the elements.
Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk have also played in outdoor games but not at the NHL level. So despite this being the first time the Lightning are headed outdoors, there are quite a few players that already have some experience under their belts.
There will be no short of events leading up to the game on Saturday. Here is a look at some of the events and what you can expect to see.
For our 21+ readers, the Lighting will be hosting a Bar Crawl event on the day of the game, starting at 12:00 pm Central (1 pm Eastern). Fans who purchase tickets will be able to head on over to multiple bars in Nashville and receive welcome shots at select bars, exclusive drink special, and be free cover to get in. Fans will also have a chance to win Lightning autographed gear in the raffle.
If you are traveling with anyone under the age of 21, not to worry; both the Predators and the NHL are putting on plenty of family-friendly events. The Predators will be hosting a three-day event called Winter Park in Nashville's Walk of Fame Park. The event will be on the following days:
Thursday, February 24th, 3:30pm-10:30pm Central
Friday, February 25th, 4:30pm-10:30pm Central
Saturday, February 26th, 10:30pm-4:00pm Central
During each day, there will be live concerts, trophy displays, food trucks, appearances by Predator alumni, and more. While this is a Nashville-hosted event, it should have a lot of fun things to do for Bolts fans as well, and it is definitely something to check out. You can get tickets for the event and find out more information about it by clicking here.
On the day of the game, the NHL will be hosting its own pregame tailgate in parking lot R of Nissan Stadium. The event starts at 1:00 and will go until 6:00 Central. The NHL has not short of things to do as well. Not only will the Stanley Cup be there to take pictures with, but fans can also participate in games such as the Hockey Puck shot challenge, accuracy shooting, and hardest shot challenge.
The Lightning and Predators will also have special booths that showcase their city off. The Bolts will have sand sculptures and a beach-like photo opportunity, while the Preds will have a Gold carpet 360-degree photo app and more. Fans will also have a chance to purchase plenty of stadium series theme merchandise before the game. To see all of the events offered at the pregame party, click here.
Of course, Bolts fans will have to take a stroll down Broadway for all of Nashville'sNashville's best restaurants, shops, live music, and more.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 eastern (6:30 central) on February 25th and will be televised on TNT. Be sure to head to the arena early, so you have plenty of time to take in the sights, get to your seats and enjoy all the pregame festivities. Doors will open at 4:30 central for fans heading to the game. For Nissan stadium policies and more information about the game, click here.
The NHL has announced that country music stars Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley will be performing during the 1st intermission and will be televised on TNT. Both performers will do a song of their own and then join forces for one last song during the intermission. We won't be surprised either if the NHL has some other plans for more performances during the rest of the game.
As of February 23rd, the weather is supposed to be in the low 30s or high 20s at puck drop. So be sure to pack warm as it is far off from the sunny weather we are used to in Tampa. Luckily there is no rain forecasted as of right now, so we should have some good weather for an outdoor hockey game.
Quick Team Outlooks
The Lighting are currently 2nd in the Atlantic division and are once again competing for the top spot in the NHL. They will have only one player missing from the game, as mentioned earlier in Zach Bogosian. Expect Vasilevskiy to get the start in net and Elliott to be backing him up.
As for the Predators, they currently sit atop of the wildcard standings (as of February 23rd) and are looking to work them up in the division standings. Nick Cousins is currently out week-to-week, and it is unknown if he will be playing in the game on Saturday. Expect Juuse Saros to get the start in net with David Rittich backing him up.
It should be a fantastic game in Nashville, and hopefully, we will be talking about the Bolt's first ever outdoor game win in just a few days. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for coverage of all the stadium series events. Let us know how you plan on watching the game and if you're excited in the comments below!
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