Welcome to the playoffs, Steven Stamkos. Where have you been?
Actually, he has played every game for the Tampa Bay Lighting, but hasn’t scored a goal (drum roll please …) UNTIL NOW!
Behold the awesome and wonderful glory of Stamkos’ first score this postseason, on a breakaway against Montreal’s Carey Price in Sunday’s Game 2, 6-2 demolition of the Canadiens.
Stamkos has repeatedly said he’s not hurt. He went eight games without a goal before that score. He couldn’t beat Petr Mrazek from Detroit. Something has to be going on.
Conspiracy theories aside, the Lightning are incredibly fortunate they’re in the position they are – in the second round up 2-0 after two games on the road. Stamkos had a goal and two assists in the victory.
"This was tough, especially at this time of the year, but the guys in the room have been great," Stamkos said via NHL.com. "I've tried to do the things to help this team win. At this of the year you want wins. [Sunday] hopefully will be the start of something good, some confidence."
Thanks to the play of Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson (17 points between them and seven goals by Johnson) Tampa looks solid, even with Stamkos not scoring. Kucherov scored two goals in the win.
Price, the likely Hart and Vezina Trophy winner made just 18 saves on 24 Tampa shots on goal. Tampa was 4-for-8 on the power play. Don't they generally say your goaltender is your best penalty killer? No matter. Montreal needs Price to be super human this series. Instead he has been just OK stopping 8 of 59 shots on goal.
"If you eliminate the power-play goals, we're the better team out there," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said again via NHL.com. "I think we have to find a way to capitalize on their mistakes. They turned the puck over so many times today, and last game as well, and we've got to find a way to finish."
To say this is not good for Montreal would be an understatement.
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