The Tampa Bay Lightning just aren't going away in the battle for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Helping that cause has been Steven Stamkos, who's been on a 2011-Corey Perry-type goal scoring streak that's helped keep Tampa in the race.
The 22-year old Stamkos now has 17 goals in 20 games since the All-Star Break, which includes a pair tonight from the Lightning's 6-1 rout of the Boston Bruins. The second goal, midway through the final period, gave the young sniper his second career 50-goal season:
It was a quick start for Tampa as they scored three times in the opening 4:31 to chase Marty Turco before popping in another two on Tim Thomas. Turco would come back for the third period and join Scott Clemmensen as the two goalies to allow goal No. 50 for Stamkos.
Some other fun Stamkos goal facts:
• 40 have come at even-strength
• 8 have been first goals
• 10 have been game winners
• 31 have come at home, 19 on the road
• Five times this season Stamkos has scored in at least four straight games
• Only 1 has come via empty net
So if you're keeping track at home, that's 217 goals in 312 career NHL games for young Mr. Stamkos. He's come a long way since being handcuffed to the bench by a certain ESPN talking head his rookie year, hasn't he?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy