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Stamkos gets his 20th, trails Richards by 1

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April

Funny thing about Lightning coach Rick Tocchet, he has a little John Tortorella in him. Put certain lines on the ice during the morning skate, only to think about it some more and make more changes before the game. That's what happened Tuesday after right wing Marty St. Louis was taken off center Steven Stamkos' line and reunited with center Vinny Lecavalier.

But Tocchet said after the game he decided he did not want Bruins All-Star defenseman Zdeno Chara checking both St. Louis and Lecavalier at the same time. So it was Stamkos and St. Louis during the game, a 3-1 loss to the Bruins, and Stamkos got his 20th goals, one off Brad Richards' team rookie record.

Even so, the warnings Tocchet gave Stamkos before the game (see previous post) still apply, and the coach wasn't all that thrilled with Stamkos' compete level after the game, either. He wasn't thrilled with a lot of people, but we're on Stamkos here.

"He was okay," Tocchet said.

As for the rest of the team, I liked this quote from Tocchet as he looked ahead to Tampa Bay's final five games.

"You've just got to keep teaching and looking for players who want to play in the NHL," he said. "It's easy decisions when you look at guys not competing. When you have 20 guys working hard and competing, you're like, 'Wow, we have to make choices. Right now, I don't think we have to make many choices to be honest with you."

Here are some good stats coming out of the game: Stamkos' goal ended Tampa Bay's scoreless streak at 129 minutes, 8 seconds. ... Lecavalier has zero points in five games and had zero shots for the second time in that streak. ... The Lightning has allowed eight power play goals in its past four games and is 0-for-14 on the power play.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]

    

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