Stamkos scores 200th goal as Tampa Bay beats Philadelphia 4-2


Sure, it would have been more fitting if it came on a faceoff circle blast set up by Martin St. Louis, but Steven Stamkos’ 200th goal still means quite a bit.

The 23-year-old hit that plateau with an empty-netter to ice the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

The accomplishment makes sense since Stamkos has been a constant for a team that’s struggled significantly the past two seasons; in this case, it provided a silver lining amid worries about Victor Hedman and Ryan Malone’s injuries.

Here are a few fun facts regarding Stamkos’ goal-scoring prowess:

  • The Lightning point out that only three players have reached 200 at a younger age: Wayne Gretzky (21 years, 256 days), Mario Lemieux (22 years, 148 days) and Dale Hawerchuk (22 years, 266 days). Stamkos is 41 days into his 23rd year, by the way.
  • Stamkos reached that mark in just 354 games, which means he averages more than a goal every other game.
  • Speaking of that 354-game mark, ESPN’s John Buccigross reports that only two active players required fewer games to hit 200: Alex Ovechkin (296 games) and Teemu Selanne (322).

Not bad.

Here are highlights from the game.

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Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: