With a successful month of November behind them, the Bolts headed to the City of Brotherly Love to begin the month of December. Tonight’s game marks the end of a three-game road trip. The trip started with a thrilling come from behind overtime win in Buffalo, followed by a valiant effort in Boston where they came up just short. But the Boston game did feature one important highlight. Steven Stamkos scored a goal, bringing his career point total to 999. The captain entered the Wells Fargo Center tonight in search of a truly special milestone. Point number 1,000. Would tonight be the night?
The Streak Continues
It was a night of milestones for the Lightning. When Pierre-Edouard Bellemare skated out for his first shift, it marked game number 608 of his career- the most ever played by a French National. Bellemare had become the ninth player from France to reach the NHL when he joined the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2014-2015 season.
On the ice. the two teams battled it out for the first fifteen minutes or so with neither finding the back of the net. The Flyers had scored first in just six of their twenty-three games this season coming into tonight. They were hoping to improve upon that record with this game. But those hopes would not come to fruition, as the Lightning had other ideas. At 14:52, Travis Sanheim went to the box for tripping Brayden Point. The Bolts had scored a power play goal in their previous eight games. Just over halfway through their first power play, Nick Paul would take that streak to nine straight games with his tenth of the season at 16:02 from Corey Perry and Alex Killorn.
— Bucs Rays Bolts (@BucsRaysBoltsYT) December 2, 2022
The Milestone Moment
It was a dominant second period for the Bolts. Perhaps one of their most dominant periods of the season. But for almost eight minutes, Flyer netminder Carter Hart stood strong in net, letting nothing past. And then came the moment Lightning fans had been waiting for. Steven Stamkos sent a pass around to Ian Cole, who passed it to Nick Paul in front of the net. Paul tipped it in for his second goal of the game and 11th goal of the season. And the Lightning bench erupted into a celebration as they poured onto the ice to embrace their team-mate. But it was not the goal scorer they were celebrating. It was the man who got the second assist. That assist was career point number 1,000 in what has been a truly amazing career for Captain Steven Stamkos. He is the first player in franchise history to reach this milestone.
Point no. 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ pic.twitter.com/jjxNLmTp4J
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 2, 2022
The Bolts continued to own the ice for the remainder of the second period but looked to be heading to the dressing room with just that 2-0 lead. Then, as the seconds ticked down, Corey Perry skated in and tried to fire a shot but was tripped up from behind. Ross Colton was there to spot the puck and wrist in past Hart with just four seconds remaining in the frame. The Bolts would wrap up the period with a 3-0 lead, having outshot the Flyers 17-2.
Finishing the Night Strong
Coming off a strong second period, the Lightning looked to finish up this game and road trip with a solid final 20 minutes. Close to the halfway point of the third period, Ian Cole fired the puck down the ice. It did not go on net but Carter Hart, who had been brilliant all night long, tried to play it, and bobbled it. It went behind him and Ian Cole had his second goal of the season. Erik Cernak and Andrei Vasilevskiy drew the assists. So, Vasilevskiy had a point on the night but could he get the shutout? He was playing in the very arena where he had gotten his first win back in December of 2014. Alas, it was not to be tonight, as Travis Konecny wristed a shot past him at 11:23. That would end the scoring for this one as the Bolts finish up the three-game road trip with a 4-1 win to take four of the possible six points this trip.
1- Nick Paul- 2 goals
2- Steven Stamkos- career point #1,000
3- Carter Hart- kept his team in the game for the first 40 minutes
Thousand-point man Steven Stamkos and his team head home to Tampa Bay as a six-game homestand begins with a rematch of last season’s first round playoff matchup as the Toronto Maple Leafs come into town Saturday night at 7pm.
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