Stamkos gets first NHL goal
Lightning rookie Steven Stamkos, one game removed from his first NHL point, scored his first NHL goal 9:51 into the first period of Thursday's game with the Sabres. It was a power play goal. Stamkos, in front of the net, sharply deflected Vinny Lecavalier's one-timer from the right wing faceoff circle.
Stamkos always said once he gets his first goal, he hoped the flood gates would open. We'll see, but the more he plays the better he has looked.
Give the kid a hand. He has handled the questions and the expectations beautifully for an 18-year-old. And as Lecavalier has said, "He's always smiling."
And now he has been rewarded.
Marty St. Louis also got an assist on the play, and that was significant. Since putting Stamkos on the power play, the Lightning has used four forwards on the first unit with St. Louis on the point. Lecavalier rotates that way as well, but St. Louis controls the play. That is partially to get as much firepower on a power play that has struggled, but coach Barry Melrose said that also is about what right now the defense.
"Right now we don't have a defenseman who is that type of D," Melrose said. "Marty has ice water in his veins."