There have been three players to score 300 goals with the Tampa Bay Lightning. One of them has his number retired. One will have his number retired, and one is named Steven Stamkos. One player, the one with retired number, had the distinction of scoring his 300th goal as an NHL player AND his 300th goal as a member of the Lightning in the same season. The one who will have his number retired scored his 300th goal in the same game that an opponent scored his 400th goal. And Stamkos scored his in the same game that Matt Carle (!) scored a goal in.
So who scored their 300th goal better?
Vincent Lecavalier March 1st, 2009 at Calgary
It was a good game for everyone but the goaltenders. All three future 300-goal scorers recorded goals in this game. Lecavalier scored scored twice, Marty St. Louis scored twice, and Steven Stamkos scored once in the 8-6 Lightning victory. Not to be outdone, Mark Recchi set a franchise record with 5 assists. Oh, and Jarome Iginla had 5 points including his 400th NHL goal. This may have been the most exciting regular season game in franchise history (seriously, watch the entire clip below, this game was awesome).
Lecavalier’s 300th goal came a few minutes after Robyn Regehr denied his breakaway by hitting him in the face with his stick. He took the pass from Recchi at the top of the left circle and one-timed it past future Lightning member Curtis McElhinney. Stamkos finished with 2 points (a goal and an assist) while Mike McKenna stopped 33 of 39 shots for the win.
Mark Recchi added his fifth assist on the final goal of the game, an empty-netter by St. Louis, it was his final point as a member of the Lightning. Three days later he was traded to Boston for Martin Karsums and Matt Lashoff.
Martin St. Louis November 26th, 2011 vs Florida
“If you told me 11 years ago I’d score 300 goals for this team, I would have paid money for that.” So said St. Louis following his landmark goal against the Panthers in 2011. He scored it like he’d score dozens of others over his career in Tampa, by finding his way to the front of the net and finishing off an opportunity.
The Panthers actually did a good job of stopping the initial rush by Brett Connolly. A diving sweep check by Brian Campbell blunted the two-on-one. He knocked the puck over to the boards where it was collected by Brett Clark. Clark got it down low to Connolly who managed to chip a backhand pass between Jacob Markstrom and a Panther’s defender. St. Louis, alone at the doorstep, knocked it in for his 300th goal in a Lightning uniform and 304th overall.
Lecavalier was held off of the scoreboard, but Stamkos had a huge night, scoring two goals and adding an assist in the 5-1 win for the Bolts.
Steven Stamkos February 20th, 2016 at Pittsburgh
A week after General Manager Steve Yzerman announced that he would not be trading his All-Star captain at the deadline, Stamkos repaid the loyalty by ripping off a 6-game goal-scoring streak that helped the Lightning win nine games in a row and solidify their spot in the playoff race.
The Stamkos goal gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead in the first period. They would go on to win 4-2 with Matt Carle (!) getting the game-winning goal. The win was the first road win for the team in Pittsburgh during the regular season since March 31st, 2010 (Stamkos scored in that game too).
Much like St. Louis’ 300th goal, Stamkos put himself in the right spot to score. After Alex Killorn’s shot from the point ricocheted off the post, Stamkos got inside of Kris Letang and chipped the rebound past Jeff Zatkoff for the historic goal. At 26 years and 13 days, Stamkos was the 9th youngest player to hit the 300 goal plateau in the NHL.
“First of all, it means you’ve been around awhile, and secondly, I’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of good players [like Matt Carle (!) -- JustinG.],” the Lightning captain told the press after the game.
The Lightning center actually did most of the hard work at the beginning of the sequence by out-hustling the Penguin defense behind the net to send it along the boards to Carle (!) who then passed it to Killorn. The assist snapped a 48-game pointless streak for Carle that dated back to May 29th, 2015.
Those are the three members of the Lightning that have scored 300 goals in the blue, white and black. Even if he keeps scoring like he has been this year, it’s going to be awhile before Nikita Kucherov (96 goals) joins them.
So which one was your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!