Stamkos finally gets a point
Steven Stamkos' first NHL point came on Vinny Lecavalier's second goal of the game, a power-play tally that gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead over the maple Leafs 4:03 into the second period. It was a secondary assist, but at this point does it really matter.
Stamkos, who grew up in the Toronto suburbs and was playing his first game at the Air Canada Centre, was the butt of a joke by his teammates before the game. As Stamkos sprinted onto the ice for warmups, the rest of the team behind him held up. It took Stamkos several moments to realize he was on the ice by himself. Good for a laugh.
Stamkos' assist was good for a smile to as he got his stick on the puck that Vinny Prospal then pushed to Lecavalier with a diving effort. Lecavalier's crisp backhander was his second goal of the game.
Have to set the record straight here, too. Coach Barry Melrose, who, as we have seen in the past, has used deception to try to confuse opponents, did not split up the Lecavalier line as he did in practice and during Tuesday's morning skate. Prospal, Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis were still together and looking, really, better than they have in a while. Matt Pettinger, instead of playing with Lecavalier and St. Louis, was with Chris Gratton and Mark Recchi.
Just FYI, the Lightning, winning 3-1 with 9:56 left in the second period, is being outshot 24-12.