TAMPA — Back when All-Star forward Steven Stamkos was in his longest scoreless drought since his rookie season, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Stamkos needed to score only once for the seal to break.After Stamkos' strong close to the Eastern Conference semifinals, his confidence and offense are flowing again. He enters the conference final with points in his past five games and is coming off perhaps his most impressive game of the postseason in Tuesday's series-clinching 4-1 Game 6 win over the Canadiens."He's gotten better as the playoffs have gone on," Cooper said.Stamkos needed to after a slow offensive start that made the league's second-leading regular-season goal scorer the subject of scrutiny. The Red Wings held Stamkos without a goal in the first round. Including the regular season and Game 1 against the Canadiens, he failed to score in nine consecutive games, his longest such stretch since 2008.After ending that slump in Game 2 against Montreal, he didn't record a shot for consecutive games, though Cooper said Stamkos continued to do other things on the ice that are expected of a team captain.Since posting only three assists in Tampa Bay's first eight playoff games, Stamkos has racked up three goals and four assists in the past five.So what changed?Cooper suggested that some of the slump was simply a stretch of luck that was bound to turn around for a player with 276 career goals."You're just not going to keep (Stamkos) down," Cooper said. "Sure, he's going to go some games without scoring, but there's a reason he's got 250 goals and is one of the fastest players to do it in the league. He knows what to do, and he's growing as a player."Cooper moved Stamkos from center to wing for Game 5 against Montreal and inserted Valtteri Filppula at center on the top line in an attempt to jolt the offense. Cooper said Stamkos probably didn't like the move personally but accepted it because it could help the team generate offense."He elevated his game," Cooper said. "He didn't put his tail between his legs and say, 'Well, I want moved back to center.' Let's do what's best for the team. It'd be hard to say he wasn't one of our best players (Tuesday)."Whether it was the tactical switch or something else, Stamkos found himself with more scoring chances. He scored the Lightning's second goal Tuesday, wristing a shot past MVP finalist goalie Carey Price. Stamkos had three other shots, including one backhander after a highlight-reel deke on defenseman Jeff Petry."Looks like I had a little more room out there the last couple games," Stamkos said.The rest of Stamkos' game has clicked, too. In addition to his four shots Tuesday, he was tied for the team lead with two blocked shots and contributed three hits."He played like a true captain," wing Ondrej Palat said.And because of it, the Lightning is back in the conference final for the third time in franchise history and the first time since Stamkos helped it get there in 2011, when it lost to the Bruins."I've always talked about how 2011 was the most fun I've ever had playing this game," Stamkos said. "We're getting right on that right now. Obviously I want a little better result this time."