Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos sets Tampa Bay Lightning's single-season goal record, passing Vinny Lecavalier

PHILADELPHIA — The only thing C Steven Stamkos wishes is that his record-breaking season would have happened with the Lightning in the playoff mix.

Other than that, setting a Tampa Bay season record with 53 goals is pretty sweet.

"Any time you can have an individual thing like that on a team that has been around for a while and had a lot of great players come through, it's special," Stamkos said after Monday's 5-3 win over the Flyers. "It's something I will remember."

For such a noteworthy goal, it came on a fairly nothing play with Stamkos, well above the right faceoff circle, fanning on his first shot attempt then sending what seemed a simple wrist shot through traffic that eluded G Ilya Bryzgalov to make the score 2-0 with 1.4 seconds left in the first period.

"But it went in, so you'll take those," Stamkos said of his 11th power play goal that pushed him past the record 52 goals he shared with C Vinny Lecavalier, who set the mark in 2006-07.

"I knew he was going to break it," Lecavalier said. "And he's going to break his own record many more times. I'm happy for him. It can't happen to a nicer person."

It's been quite a season for Stamkos, 22, who also became one of seven NHL players to have two 50-goal seasons before age 23.

"It's something I've worked hard towards," he said. "I've been lucky enough to play with some great players and great people. This is another memory I can share with them."

ON THE MEND: Lecavalier was upgraded to day to day, and after the morning skate, in which he wore a red no-contact jersey, said his fractured right hand "felt really good, probably the best day by far."

Lecavalier, out 17 games, expects to play during the current three-game road trip.

"It depends how it reacts to what I did the last few days," he said.

MEDICAL MATTERS: D Victor Hedman, who skated in the morning, was a late scratch due to illness, the team said. … It sounds as if RW Adam Hall likely will not play the rest of the season because of what is believed a back injury. … C Nate Thompson (upper body) also skated with a red no-contact jersey and said he hopes to play on the road trip.

NO HARD FEELINGS: Flyers D Pavel Kubina said it took his "a few weeks" to get over his Feb. 17 trade from the Lightning but holds no hard feelings.

"I understand," he said. "It's part of the business. It's a hard business, but it's part of that."

In 11 games with Philadelphia, Kubina, 34, has three assists and is plus-1 and entered Monday averaging 18:10 of ice time. He called it a "great opportunity to play for a great organization and a great team."

Still, he said facing the team that drafted him and with which he spent 10 seasons and won the 2004 Stanley Cup would be "weird. … You've got to control your emotions. You don't want to do too much to try to prove something. Keep it simple."

ODDS AND ENDS: Ryan Malone's first-period goal was Tampa Bay's second shorthanded of the season and tied Detroit for the league low. … G Sebastien Caron gets his first Lightning start tonight against the Bruins. … There were no healthy scratches.

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