Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

36. Steven Stamkos Knocks One Out of the Park

Date: March 24, 2014

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos may be one of the best goal scorers the Lightning has ever had in their arsenal. Over the course of his still very young career, Stamkos has played in 527 games scoring 290 goals and 233 assists for a total of 523 points. These are pretty impressive numbers for someone who is only just 25 years of age and has the potential of playing over another decade in the National Hockey League.

There is no denying that Steven Stamkos quickly became the sniper of the team. At times, it seems as if Steven Stamkos can score a goal from just about any position on the ice, but there was one particular scenario where one single goal brought an entire arena to their feet in sheer amazement.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were taking on the Ottawa Senators at the then-Tampa Bay Times Forum. As the Lightning head into the Third Period of play, the Ottawa Senators would lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. The Lightning knew if they had any hopes of bringing home the two points in this encounter, they had to make their move, and it had to be soon.

It may never become known what was said in the Lightning Locker Room during the second intermission, but whatever it was seemed to light a fire in the souls of the Lightning players.

At 5:33 in the Third Period, the Tampa Bay Lightning would find themselves on the Power Play as Senators defenseman Jared Cowen would stamp his one-way ticket to the sin bin for Tripping Lightning right wing J.T. Brown. This would open the door for the Lightning to capitalize on the man advantage and tie things up for the Bolts.

Speaking of capitalizing on their opportunities, in just about 11 seconds the Tampa Bay Lightning would make their move. While any goal by your favorite team is worth celebrating, there was something different about this goal that would make it stand out among the rest.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were battling for possession in front of the Senators’ net. Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula would pass the puck back behind the net to the awaiting stick of Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan. Callahan would center the puck in front of the net by handing off the puck to Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat, who was waiting in front of the net for his opportunity to take the shot on goal.

Ondrej Palat would take the shot, but it would ultimately be deflected by Senators netminder Robin Lehner and sent high on the right side. Just when you think the offensive push was about to come to an end, here comes Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos.

Stamkos stood waiting by the side of the net, with his eyes locked in on the puck like the laser scope on a rifle. As the puck descended back to the ice and to a playable height, Stamkos clinched onto his stick like a member of the Tampa Bay Rays ready to knock a home run out of the park, took a swing at the puck, and sent it flying right past an unsuspecting Lehner.

Initially, the referee would waive the goal off, but after conferring with the other referees and taking a closer look at the shot, they had no other choice but to award the goal to Steven Stamkos and tie the game up for the Bolts. As one of the many fans who were in the stands that night, we remember quite clearly the energy that filled the building after that amazing goal. Even while the referees were conferring on whether or not the goal would ultimately be allowed, fans stood with their jaws open in amazement that the shot went right in the back of the net.

While we’re sure Steven Stamkos will have many more of these kinds of moments as he navigates his way through the National Hockey League over the course of the next decade or so, but this goal will always be one of the most memorable for those of us here in the Bolts Nation.

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