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GONE FISHING: Panthers, Lightning to Play Across Alley in Estero

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards


Florida's two NHL teams will meet in the middle Thursday night for a preseason game in Estero.

Germain Arena, located off Exit 123 on Interstate 75, will play host to the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. Home to the popular and successful Florida Everblades of the ECHL, Germain Arena seats over 7,000 for hockey.

The arena is about a 90 minute drive from the BB&T Center in Sunrise and about two hours south of the Tampa Bay Times Forum with fans from that area driving in both directions for NHL games. Thursday, it is being brought to them.

"It's great,'' coach Kevin Dineen said. "I love it there. It's a great facility in a great part of Florida. They have a really strong hockey base there that [Carolina Hurricanes owner] Peter Karmanos has developed by having a quality minor league team there. This is a good fit for both teams. I expect cheers on both sides.''


When, Where: 7:30 p.m.; Germain Arena, Estero, Fl

Tickets: Visit www.germainarena.com

The game: Florida has lost three straight preseason games (two in shootout) after sweeping a doubleheader against Nashville. Host Tampa Bay won the previous meeting 5-4 in a shootout Saturday. The two teams close the preseason Saturday in Sunrise.