Lightning win first game without Stamkos

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have a long way to go with crucial scorer Steven Stamkos, yet they passed their first of many tests without him on Tuesday, eking out a 2-1 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens.

If the numbers say anything, it wasn’t one of those “hold on for dear life and hope for the extra shootout point” situations, though.

The Lightning bombarded the Habs with 45 shots on goal and only allowed 29. That’s quite the effort for a team that was facing back-to-back contests without a guy who easily led them in scoring.

Then again, maybe that’s the point. The Lightning were among the cream of the East’s crop without much of a mention before Stamkos’ injury. If they can keep this up without one of the league’s best forwards (a tall order, no doubt) maybe people will finally take notice of the team’s strengths beyond a few stars?