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Steven Stamkos' empty-net goal gives him 51 and a share of the Rocket Richard Trophy



Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos' empty-net goal with 12.5 seconds left in Sunday's season finale with the Panthers gave the center 51 goals, tying Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for most in the league this season. Both will get the Rocket Richard Trophy.

Stamkos played a season-high 26:20 in the game, including 11 minutes, 45 seconds of the third period. He scored off a Teddy Purcell pass after a Vinny Lecavalier faceoff win in the defensive zone. Purcell dumped the puck forward and Stamkos used his speed to catch up and shoot into the net with Florida's Stephen Weiss diving behind him and throwing his stick.

"Pretty surreal to do it in my second year in the league and share it with a player like Crosby is pretty special," Stamkos said. "And to win it without a guy named Ovechkin in the  mix is pretty special too. He's such a dominant scorer."

Did Stamkos care he tied Crosby with an empty-netter?

"No," he said. "All those posts I had against Carolina (three), it was bound to happen like that. I'll take it either way." 

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:15am]


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