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Stamkos thriving after returning to center

Steven Stamkos' latest scoring surge came since Stamkos was moved back to his natual, and preferred, position of center Feb. 16.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Steven Stamkos' latest scoring surge came since Stamkos was moved back to his natual, and preferred, position of center Feb. 16.

23

February

Steven Stamkos has scored a goal in three straight games, which matches a Lightning season-high.

It's the first time this season the Lightning captain has completed the feat.

And it is likely more than just coincidence that this latest scoring surge came since Stamkos was moved back to his natual, and preferred, position of center Feb. 16.

"When I got moved back, it's definitely more comfortable position for me," Stamkos said. "But at the same time the correlation with the success is just competing and playing well and playing good defensively, and like I said, I don't know if that has anything to do with it, if it's just a coincidence, but I feel like my game has gotten a little better over this past couple weeks and for me just trying to do the right things on the ice."

Asked about Stamkos scoring more at center, coach Jon Cooper quipped: "He's been at center and probably got 260 of them (goals), maybe 30 at the wing, so he's got a lot of goals at center."

Stamkos returned to center last Tuesday, reunited with old linemates Ryan Callahan and Alex Killorn. That also came after GM Steve Yzerman made the statement that Stamkos would not be traded by Monday's trade deadline.

Did that have an impact?

"I feel like this year I've tried to block all that stuff out," Stamkos said. "It helps for sure when you don't have to talk about it as much or answer questions as much. I've just been trying to focus on playing hard and playing the right way and just getting back to the things I've seen in my game that made me successful in the past and it's been working."

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 12:46pm]

    

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