With a Saturday night spotlight shining bright on Hockey Night, Steven Stamkos stole the show. Stamkos scored twice and added an assist in helping lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 victory against Vancouver in front of an announced crowd of 18,647 at Rogers Arena. Ryan Callahan had a goal and an assist, Ondrej Palat had two assists while Alex Killorn scored an insurance goal in the third period. Ben Bishop finished with 30 saves for his third victory of the season. Alex Edler and Chris Higgins scored for Vancouver while Eddie Lack finished with 20 saves. The game was overshadowed a bit when defenseman Victor Hedman, who led all blue liners in points heading into the game, was injured in the second period and did not return with what the team classified as an injury to the hand. He will return to Tampa for evaluation and will miss the rest of the road trip. Stamkos, who missed last year’s game at Rogers Arena while recovering from a broken leg, didn’t take long to stamp his arrival on the national stage, blocking a shot at the defensive blue line and then taking a lead pass from Palat and skate in on a breakaway chance. Stamkos came in untouched and beat Lack with a move to the backhand 53 seconds into the game to give Tampa Bay the early 1-0 lead. The lead did not last very long, however, as Higgins came up the left wing side, cut to the net unopposed for a shot in close. Though Bishop made the initial save, Higgins was able to collect the rebound and slip it past Bishop at 7:15 to tie the game. The Lightning quickly regained the lead when Callahan won a puck behind the Vancouver net and found a seam to get it to the front where Stamkos swooped in as he read the play and backhanded the puck past Lack at 8:26 for his fifth goal of the season and 43rd career multi-goal game. But Tampa Bay started to play sloppy with the lead, losing pucks, making poor passes and mismanaging the puck all over the ice.
Stamkos scores twice as Bolts beat Vancouver
Tampa Tribune | Oct 19