Connect with us


Stamkos Sets Milestone as Lightning Win Big

Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning to a 5-2 victory over Vancouver.

Steven Stamkos scored early and often against the Vancouver Canucks as the Lightning Captain netted his milestone 500th goal along with two more for a hat trick on the way to a 5-2 victory. Becoming only the 47th player in NHL history to ever reach the elusive 500-goal mark, Stamkos has earned a place among the sport’s elite.

Stamkos scored four minutes into the game in Vancouver. Fed by Alex Killorn on a backdoor pass, Stamkos put an exclamation point on his journey to 500 in the back of the net. The game paused as the team poured out onto the ice to surround their captain in celebration.

“It’s very special. An all-time moment in my career,” Stamkos said. “I’ve been fortunate to play for a long time, and to do it with the same organization is special.”

“Great play by my linemates. I’m happy those guys were a part of it.”

The Vancouver crowd reacted in kind, as well, as they rose to their feet in appreciation for Stamkos’ accomplishment.

“It was pretty cool to do it here (in Vancouver),” the Lightning Captain added. “The ovation from the fans is something I’ll remember, too.”

The milestone goal started a flurry of offensive activity in the first period for the Bolts. Following the Stamkos goal, Nikita Kucherov would add another goal four minutes later. Additionally, Brayden Point put in his 26th of the season.

Now that the pressure of scoring was gone, Stamkos would add his 501st to round out the period. Without delay, Canucks goaltender Spencer Martin would be replaced by Colin Delia.

Late in the third period, Stamkos would punctuate an amazing performance with a third goal into an empty net for the hat trick.

Stamkos Elevates to New Levels

Stamkos becomes the sixth player to score their 500th goal against the Canucks, joining names like Wayne Gretzky and Patrick Marleau.

At the same time, he also joins Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin as one of three active players in the league with 500 or more goals.

With the hat trick, the star forward placed himself on another elite list. Stamkos joins Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and four other NHL superstars with a hat trick on the night they scored goal 500.

“Let’s be honest. To see somebody score a thousand points and then see him get his 500th (goal), it just makes you proud,” Lightning Coach Jon Cooper said. “The thing that made me the most proud is what he said to the team after the game. How he thanked everybody. We’ve watched that kid grow into a man and become a phenomenal leader.”

“He’s a generational goal-scorer. That’s what he is. Those guys don’t come around often. Enjoy him while you can! ”

Elliott Has A Huge Night in Net

As much as Stamkos had an effect offensively, Lightning netminder Brian Elliott defensively kept Vancouver scoreless for the first two periods of play. In fact, the effort from Elliott allowed the Bolts to jump out to a big lead.

Elliott found himself screened often by Canuck forwards, yet maintained a keen eye for the puck. As a result, Elliott gave up very few rebounds and played solid throughout the evening.

Both of Vancouver’s goals came in the third period on two power plays. Despite giving up two, he stopped 37 shots. His glove-play and ability to hold onto the puck limited Vancouver’s chances.

Especially important, Elliott’s big night also paves the way for a well-rested Andrei Vasilevskiy to mind the net Thursday night against Edmonton.

Three Stars of the Game

Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts’ leader scored goals 499-502 all against Vancouver in the past week. His cool demeanor and consistent play throughout his career led to this momentous night. To say he made a statement tonight to be considered one of the game’s all-time elites is an understatement.

Brain Elliott, G, Tampa Bay Lightning. While Stamkos was lighting the lamp on the offensive side, The Moose kept the puck out of the Lightning goal for the first 46 minutes of the game. His strong play allowed the Bolts to jump out early and maintain their lead all night.

Brayden Point, F, Tampa Bay Lightning. Point scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season for the game-winner. As a result, Point is on pace for a potential 50-goal season.  No only is he poised to score 50, but also tally the largest total of his career if he stays hot.

HONORABLE MENTION: Alex Killorn, F, Tampa Bay Lightning. Killorn assisted two of Stamkos’ goals, including the 500th. In praising his teammate, Stamkos remarked afterwards that he felt it was the best assist of Killorn’s career.

Up Next

The Lightning travel to Edmonton Thursday night to take on the Oilers. Puck Drop is 9pmET.

Follow our coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning all season long at The Scrum Sports.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *