If you took a peek at the Lightning vs. Capitals series schedule for their Eastern Conference Semifinal series that begins on Friday night, you probably wondered what was up with all the weirdness. A 6:30 start? Back-to-back games? Three games in four nights?
This is the playoffs! That sort of thing shouldn't happen. Well, there is a reason. The University of South Florida will hold its commencement ceremony at Tampa's St. Pete Times Forum, home of the Lightning, on Thursday. That pushes Game 4 up one day, to Wednesday, creating a back-to-back, three games in four days situation.
It's certainly not ideal if you're one of the players, and it creates a weird gap from Wednesday to Saturday between Games 4 and 5.
The back-to-back situation could be solved, of course, by just pushing Game 5 back to Friday night, but that would push Game 6 back to Sunday, and NBC doesn't want that. They need their lead-in for the Kentucky Derby. Ah, priorities.