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Panthers-Lightning first-round playoff series schedule set

The NHL on Friday released the full schedule for the first-round playoff series between the Florida Panthers and intrastate rival Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Panthers and Lightning played three times this regular season, with Florida winning two of the matchups, 3-2 on Dec. 27 and 9-2 on Feb. 17 in Tampa. The Lightning won in their lone trip to Sunrise’s Amerant Bank Arena, 5-3 on March 16.

The Panthers and Lightning will meet in the playoffs for the third time. Tampa Bay won the 2021 first-round matchup in six games and swept Florida in the second round in 2022.

The Panthers, who made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final a year ago, won the Atlantic Division in their final regular-season game Tuesday. The Panthers recorded their second-best regular season in their history with 110 points (52-24-6).

The Lightning, who made the postseason as a wild card with 98 points (45-29-8), won the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021 and reached the Final in 2022.

Here’s the full series schedule:

Game 1: Sunday, April 21, 12:30 p.m., Amerant Bank Arena, ESPN, Bally Sports Florida

Game 2: Tuesday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., Amerant Bank Arena, ESPN2, Bally Sports Florida

Game 3: Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, TBS, Bally Sports Florida

Game 4: Saturday, April 27, 5 p.m., Amalie Arena, TBS, Bally Sports Florida

*Game 5: Monday, April 29, time TBD, Amerant Bank Arena, national TV TBD, Bally Sports Florida

*Game 6: Wednesday, May 1, time TBD, Amalie Arena, national TV TBD, Bally Sports Florida

*Game 7: Saturday, May 4, time TBD, Amerant Bank Arena, national TV TBD, Bally Sports Florida

* If necessary