Steven Stamkos didn’t find the back of the net in Tampa Bay’s first two games, but he’s made a big impact tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.
Stamkos had a natural hat trick through two periods that started just 9:51 minutes into the contest:
He accepted a long pass from defenseman Victor Hedman midway through the second period to create a situation where Stamkos had a clear path to Montreal goaltender Carey Price. Stamkos took full advantage of that opportunity:
His third goal came at 18:14 of the second frame when his team had the man advantage:
This is Stamkos’ first hat trick since March 19 against Toronto. Tampa Bay had a 4-1 edge over the Canadiens going into the third period.
Update: It seems Stamkos has helped chase Price from the game as Montreal’s Dustin Tokarski is playing between the pipes in the third period.