Steven Stamkos makes instant impact in return with 1st period goal

Ross Houston
September 26, 2020

Just being trapped inside the bubble with no guarantee of playing would be agony for someone who has given as much to the Lightning as Stamkos. Captain Jamie Benn (eight shots in 76 shifts) and Tyler Seguin (seven shots in 82 shifts) haven't even registered a point, while Alexander Radulov has three assists and five shots in 66 shifts, along with two bad penalties in Game 3.

"You want to have a say and you want to contribute, so (Wednesday) was an wonderful experience to get out there and help our team", Stamkos said. Then, we just completely got away from that.

Stamkos made the most of limited ice time, scoring a vintage goal going around Esa Lindell and sniping a shot past Anton Khudobin. So far, Dallas has found itself in trouble all too often, lacking discipline, and it paid the price in each of the last two contests.


The Lightning captain, who hadn't played a game since February 25 due to injury, scored the team's second goal of the night just 6:58 seconds in. "Regardless if there's fans in the building or not, the exuberance and relief are unparalleled", said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper in a postgame interview. "We can correct some areas but that team is here for a reason and they're going to capitalize when you make them".

"That's where we lost the game", said Stars forward Mattias Janmark, who took the first penalty of the game.

"He had a great season, but sometimes I would say sometimes he overworks things, Victor". And based on the fact he sat on the bench while not taking a shift for the final 46 minutes here suggests we might not see him in uniform again for the rest of this series.


But what it meant to Stamkos and the Lightning won't change no matter what.

The Dallas Stars' goalie looked like he was cruising to the Conn Smythe Trophy after his 35-save performance in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"We wanted Steven out there with us", said defenseman Ryan Mcdonagh in a postgame interview. After one period, it became a defensive battle leaving the teams knotted at 1-1 at the end of regulation. "Right now, it's get our game back, get it back for longer stretches". That is the only time in the NHL's modern era for a back-to-back at this point in the playoffs. With star center Steven Stamkos missing most of the playoffs due to injury, the budding-star, Brayden Point has proved his own worth as a more than capable second-line-center.


"Score! Cerelli! Stanley Cup Finals, here come the Tampa Bay Lightning", exclaimed Tampa Bay Lightning radio play-by-play announcer, Dave Mishkin.

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