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Andrej Sustr

Lightning, Panthers set to kick off NHL season on Friday

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It all begins for real tonight at Amalie Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning open the 2017-18 season against the Florida Panthers, the first of four meetings between the two teams. For the Lightning, they seek a return to the playoffs after missing the post season by a single point last year. If they can avoid significant injuries to key players, always a big “if,” they have every reason to expect to be playing hockey well into the spring.

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Lightning well represented in World Cup of Hockey

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For some reason, it’s difficult to get excited about the World Baseball Classic. It occurs every two years during spring training when major league players are far from performing at their peak. The World Cup of Hockey, which begins Saturday, also takes place during training camp. It is there the similarities end. The very nature of athletic competition in a contact sport like hockey versus a non-contact sport like baseball almost guarantees a better product. This will not look like…

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