NHL Game Summary - Florida at Tampa Bay|
(Saturday, April 10th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Florida 3 (SO)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Steven Stamkos scored twice to become the third-
youngest player in NHL history to notch 50 goals in a season, and
appropriately buried the shootout winner in Tampa Bay's 4-3 win over Florida.
At just 20 years and two months old, the top overall pick in 2008 is behind
only Wayne Gretzky (19 years, 2 months; 1979-80) and Jimmy Carson (19 years, 8
"To do it on home ice in a win...emotions were running and he (his father) was
in the stands," Stamkos said. "To share that moment with my teammates, I have
to share it with Marty (St. Louis). He's been a big mentor of mine and pushed
me to be the player I am today."
Stamkos tied Washington's Alex Ovechkin in the race for the Maurice Richard
Trophy, awarded to the NHL's leading goal-scorer. Both sit just one goal ahead
of Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, and all three are in action on the final day of
the regular season Sunday.
The Lightning will complete a home-and-home set with Florida on the road, the
Capitals host Boston and the Penguins travel to take on the Islanders.
Stamkos is bidding to become the youngest player to lead the NHL in goals
since Rick Nash shared honors with Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk in 2004
After delighting the crowd with his two tallies in regulation, Stamkos avoided
a pokecheck and flipped in a backhander to start the shootout.
Antero Niittymaki stuffed Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton shot wide, while
both of the next two Lightning shooters were also foiled.
That left Michael Frolik with a chance to extend the game, but his backhand
attempt was deflected up and over the crossbar by Niittymaki to give the Bolts
a night to remember in their final home game of the season.
Niittymaki came away with 29 saves and St. Louis recorded his 29th goal on the
season for the Lightning, who have posted back-to-back shootout wins.
Scott Clemmensen made 34 saves and Horton registered a goal and two assists
for the Panthers, who have dropped three of four.
Stamkos moved into position high in the left circle to blast a one-timer past
Clemmensen on the short side for a game-opening power-play tally 4:11 in.
Weiss countered with a power-play goal, his 28th of the season, with 1:21 to
go in the period for a tie game after 20 minutes.
Stamkos rifled a low wrister from just inside the right circle for his 50th at
5:28 -- his second power-play marker -- and St. Louis provided a two-goal
cushion midway through the frame.
Frolik got one back for the Panthers 1:22 later and Horton scored on a
breakaway while shorthanded with 11:52 to play.
"Once we stopped taking penalties and started moving our feet...I thought we
played a good second and third period," said Panthers coach Peter DeBoer.
Clemmensen made 12 saves in the third to help force extra time, while Florida
came on as the aggressor late and tested Niittymaki with 12 shots in the
period. Niittymaki stoned Horton on a partial breakaway in overtime to keep
things alive for the hosts.
Stamkos currently sits in second place on the all-time list for most goals
scored in a single season in franchise history behind teammate Vincent
Lecavalier (52). Both Stamkos and St. Louis added assists, as did Weiss for
Florida. Stamkos now has 94 points on the season...Frolik scored his 21st goal
of the year and Horton got his 20th...Tampa Bay finished 2-for-5 on the power
play, while the Panthers went 1-for-6.
04/10 23:49:35 ET