Here’s when the Florida Panthers begin their playoff series vs the Tampa Bay Lightning

The Florida Panthers’ quest to return to the Stanley Cup Finals begins on Sunday.

The NHL on Wednesday announced dates, times and TV coverage plans for Game 1 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round matchups for the four Eastern Conference series.

The Panthers’ opening-round, best-of-7 series against the in-state rival Tampa Bay Lightning is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. puck drop on Sunday at Amerant Bank Arena, with the game being televised on ESPN nationally and Bally Sports Florida locally.

(Tickets for the playoff series are still available.)

As of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the league has not released any other game dates, times or television info for the remainder of the series.

The Panthers, who won the Atlantic Division with a 52-24-6 record, will host Games 1, 2, 5 (if necessary) and 7 (if necessary) at Amerant Bank Arena. Games 3, 4 and 6 (if necessary) will be at Tampa’s Amalie Arena.

Florida and Tampa Bay faced off in the playoffs twice before, with the Lightning winning both of those series. Tampa Bay won in six games in the first round of the 2021 playoffs and then swept Florida in the second round of the 2022 playoffs.

Florida went 2-1-0 against Tampa Bay during the regular season.

As for the other three Eastern Conference matchups to begin the playoffs...

The Carolina Hurricanes host the New York Islanders at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the game televised on TBS and truTV.

The Boston Bruins host the Toronto Mpale Leafs at 8 p.m. Saturday, with the game televised on TBS and truTV.

And the New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals at 3 p.m. Sunday, with the game televised on ESPN.