TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Lightning will have its largest crowd of the season Thursday night as the team will increase the attendance capacity at Amalie Arena to 9,000 per a report in the Tampa Bay Times.
The Lightning had been allowing around 4,200 for games during the regular season, but with those killer HVAC machines that are all the rage these days, the NHL has allowed an increase in attendance starting with Game 3.
Tampa Bay had originally raised the limit to 7,000 but opened up more seats earlier this week.
According to the Times, the arena is allowed to have 11,000 but the team is keeping it on the low end — at least to start.
The Panthers, one of the first professional sports teams to allow fans in their building, had been capping attendance at just above 4,000 during the regular season.
For the first two games of this series, the Panthers announced sellout crowds of 9,636 for both games — although Tuesday’s crowd looked substantially larger than that.
The Panthers gave out rally towels to all fans in attendance for Games 1 and 2; the Lightning are trying to make up for being at less than 50 percent capacity by leaving noise makers at each seat before Game 3.
Hey, it’s better than Thundersticks.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) May 20, 2021
LINKING THE PANTHERS AND LIGHTNING
The Panthers will have Chris Driedger back in net, but after a tough game on Tuesday, Keith Yandle will be scratched.
It’s the first game Yandle has missed since 2009 — but it does not affect his Ironman streak. That lives on. (Florida Hockey Now)
— The Panthers find themselves in a big hole down 2-0 against the defending Cup champs and now the series turns to Tampa. Florida needed at least a win on home ice and did not get it. Still, they can get right back in this thing tonight. (FHN)
— Remember when the Capitals rallied from 0-2 to beat the Blue Jackets in 2018? We bet a few Panthers do. (FHN)
— Jonathan Huberdeau joins Hochman & Crowder on 790 to talk about the playoffs. (The Ticket)
— Birthday Boy Billy Lindsay was on with Joe Rose and Zach Krantz to talk about some stuff. Probably the Panthers. (WQAM)
— George Richards was probably making stuff up on Zaslow & Amber. Who cares what that guy thinks, right? (The Ticket)
— Tim Reynolds joined the Panthers’ Territory Talk to preview the Heat-Bucks playoff series. OK, probably not. (Florida Panthers)
— Mason Marchment’s no-quit attitude could help the Florida Panthers climb out of a 2-0 hole. (Ottawa Sun)
AROUND THE LEAGUE
ESPN goes through all of the celebrity fans for each of the 16 teams left in the playoffs. We knew about Arianna Grande and Josh Gad (went to University School in Davie) but the Rock? OK, the Panthers will take it. (ESPN)
— Could Evgeni Malkin return for Game 3? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
— Alex Ovechkin was not pleased Wednesday night. (PHN)
— The Bruins were cool with what happened. (Boston Hockey Now)
— When will the NHL Draft lottery be held? Do we care this year? (NHL)
— Vegas gets a Covid-19 scare which turned out to be false. (Vegas Hockey Now)
— The Avs get a big win over the Wild in Game 2 but will likely lose Nazem Kadri for a few games. (Colorado Hockey Now)
— Sid the Kid to Colorado? (CHN)
— What happened to Travis Konecny? (Philly Hockey Now)
The Marlins got another terrific start from Trevor Rogers as they beat the host Philadelphia Philles. (Miami Herald)
— Timmie Reynolds joins David Wilson to talk about the Heat-Bucks series — for reals this time. (MH)
— The Heat’s playoff schedule and more from Barry Jackson. (MH)
— Inter Miami/Fort Lauderdale has a new jersey. (Sun-Sentinel)
— Former Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell tells some stories. (Dave Hyde, Sentinel)