Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Kontos doesn't mind sharing Lightning record with St. Louis

TAMPA — Chris Kontos spent most of Saturday snowmobiling with his buddies.

When he finally checked his cellphone, he had "a bunch" of messages telling him his Lightning record of four goals in a game was in jeopardy because Marty St. Louis had three in the first period.

There also were a bunch telling him St. Louis tied his record.

"It's been great," Kontos, 50, who lives in Penetanguishene, Ontario, said of having the record to himself. "But records are made to be broken, and I'm glad to see Marty was on his way. I was hoping he would break it."

Kontos set the mark Oct. 7, 1992, in the Lightning's first-ever game, a 7-3 victory over the Blackhawks at Expo Hall. It took 1,620 games to match him.

Kontos ended the season, his only one with Tampa Bay, with 27 goals in 66 games.

"Everything has to go right," he said of scoring four goals. "You get five, six shots. It's like a poker game when they deal you aces."

St. Louis scored twice on power-play one-timers, once when the puck bounced off him and Sharks D Mark Stuart, and once on a backhander through his legs after G Antti Niemi stopped his breakaway.

That one included a little luck as the stick of a pursuing Stuart also gave the puck a nudge.

"I tried to keep the puck going toward the net," St. Louis said. "I don't know how it got there."

Coincidence or not, St. Louis has been on fire since he was left off Canada's Olympic team, tallying eight goals and 11 points during a seven-game points streak that is the league's longest current.

"I hope they can do something to let him in," Kontos said.

On Saturday, though, the focus was on St. Louis' four goals.

"I don't think you play this game to have franchise records or league records. You play this game to win championships," St. Louis said. "Along the way, if you do good things, it's great. But I don't think it's in the back of anybody's mind."

RELIEF: D Victor Hedman left the ice 4:40 into the third after taking a shot off his right leg. He was on crutches after the game. But X-rays were negative, and he traveled to Carolina, though GM Steve Yzerman called him "uncertain" for today.

BIG BEN: G Ben Bishop (23-6-4) allowed more than two goals for the first time in 11 starts and only the sixth time in 35 starts this season. It also was his first regulation loss since Dec. 3 (9-1-3).

About Joe Pavelski's winning goal — a deflection of a wrist shot from the blue line — he said, "It was tough. I went to block it because it was coming at me, and I didn't block it. So I assume it hit something."

BOYLE TROUBLE: Sharks and former Lightning D Dan Boyle said he returned too quickly after a concussion and for more than two months experienced sleep deprivation, balance issues and a general lack of energy.

"In hindsight," he told the San Jose Mercury News, "it would have been a good idea for me to stay away a little longer."

Boyle, 37, sustained a concussion on Oct. 15 on a from-behind hit by Blues C Maxim Lapierre. He missed seven games but said it was not until after Christmas that the symptoms subsided.

"You can get through a couple of games," said Boyle, who added it was his choice to play. "But two months in, let me tell you, you're walking around like a zombie."

ODDS AND ENDS: C Tyler Johnson's two assists gave him 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists). That's second among rookies, two behind Avalanche C Nathan MacKinnon. … Bishop got his second assist of the season on St. Louis' breakaway goal. He began the sequence with a save of Brent Burns' wrist shot. … D Keith Aulie and forwards Tom Pyatt and B.J. Crombeen were scratched.

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