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91 Days of Stamkos: Day 36, Stamkos’s first overtime goal

If it’s not on TV, did it actually happen?

Tampa Bay Lightning v Atlanta Thrashers Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

During his 60-goal run in 2011-12, Steven Stamkos scored a league record of five overtime goals. Those OT winners were part of an astonishing 12 game-winning goals that he scored that season. That production is a bit of an outlier for him. In his other eight seasons he only has three overtime goals.

Stamkos’s first career overtime goal came in his second season with the Lightning.

Blink and you’ll miss it!

On a Sunday in November, 2009, Marty St. Louis and Stamkos teamed up to score the game winner almost three minutes into the extra session. Coming in on a two-on-one, St. Louis managed to sneak the puck past a sliding defender, and Stamkos deflected it into the net for the win.

Who was it that the dynamic duo teamed up to beat? The Atlanta Thrashers. It looks like overtime games on Sundays don’t agree with that town...

The goal was Stamkos’ 15th of the season and the first since he scored the incredible “Butt Goal” against Anaheim two games prior. He would score 7 goals that month and 51 on the year to win his first Rocket Richard trophy

It capped off a dominating game for Stamkos, who finished with the goal and an assist, 23:42 of playing time, 7 shots, 2 hits and 2 takeaways. The Lightning needed every bit of that effort to win the game after they squandered a 3-1 lead in the third period.

Antero Nittymaki (remember him?) made 28 saves for the win. Stephane Veilluex (remember him?) kicked off the scoring for the Lightning with Kurtis Foster and Ryan Malone adding goals as well. The Lightning as a team had 40 shots (and hit the post 4 times). By all accounts it was a highly entertaining game that almost no one saw.

Why is that?

No. The answer isn’t, “because it was in the south”. Well, that’s part of it. According to only 13,342 tickets were sold for that game, about 75% of capacity for the old Philips Arena. That was an average sized crowd that year for the 28th-ranked team in attendance (only the Islanders and Coyotes drew fewer), but not an obscenely small amount.

The real reason that almost no one saw the game was because neither team broadcast the game over local TV. According to the Raw Charge preview it was the third game of the four-game road trip that wasn’t on local TV for Tampa Bay fans (including the game against Anaheim). This game didn’t take place in the pre-digital world of the 1980s or 1990s. This happened in 2009! When the rest of the hockey world dumps on hockey in the south, this is something they would harp on (but conveniently forget that the old Southeast division has more Stanley Cups in the last 30 years than Montreal and Toronto combined).

That’s also one of the reasons that, after hours of internet searching, the only video of the goal is a two-second clip in a goals compilation video. There are a lot of videos on the internet of Steven Stamkos scoring goals. A lot. [Poor Justing. - Acha]