With Sunday’s win against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Tampa Bay Lightning recorded their 1,000th regular season win in franchise history. With the victory, they pushed their career record to 1000-952-112-154. To celebrate, here are 10 Fun* and Interesting** Facts about the Lightning’s 1,000 franchise wins.
*Fun not guaranteed.
**Interesting also not guaranteed.
7 Goals in 1st and 1,000th Win
The Lightning scored seven goals in the game on Sunday. It was pretty fitting that in their 1st win, they also scored seven goals, against the Chicago Blackhawks. Phil Esposito wore #7 and founded the Tampa Bay Lightning. Pretty cool. It’s not the record for most goals scored in a milestone win as the team scored eight goals in an 8-5 win over the Florida Panthers for the team’s 800th franchise win.
The Lightning won their 1,000th game
The Lightning reached their 1,000th game during the 2005-06 season. In that game, they won 4-1 over the Los Angeles Kings on the road. Vincent Lecavalier scored the game winner on the power play following on from Martin St. Louis’ own power play goal. Ruslan Fedotenko stretched the lead to 3-1 and Norm Milley scored his first goal of his NHL career sealed it with an empty net goal to finish the 4-1 game.
On a side note, apparently Milley was only able to score in the last four minutes of a game. That empty net goal came at 18:50 of the third period. His second career goal came at 16:01 of the third period. Milley never scored another NHL goal, only playing two more NHL games after his second goal. He had a long and successful career playing in Germany and is now an Assistant Coach for the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL.
Most Contributions to the Lightning’s Win Total
The Carolina Hurricanes have provided the most wins to the Lightning’s 1,000 win total with 67. The Florida Panthers are next with 66. The bottom of the list is made of the Seattle Kraken who have contributed one win and the Vegas Golden Knights that have contributed two wins. The Panthers and Hurricanes are also the two teams the Lightning have faced most in franchise history (148 GP against the Panthers and 136 GP against the Hurricanes).
Winning At Home
Since their inauguration, the Lightning have played at four different home venues. The first was Expo Hall at the fair grounds for their first season. They also played five “home” games in Orlando during the 1993-94 season. Then the Lightning moved to the Thunderdome, what is now Tropicana Field and home of the Tampa Bay Rays, for a few seasons. The Lightning then settled down in downtown Tampa in what was then known as the Ice Palace, but now goes by Amalie Arena.
- Expo Hall - 12 Wins
- Orlando Arena - 1 Win
- Thunderdome - 45 Wins
- Amalie Arena - 508 Wins
Winning on the Road
When not at Amalie Arena, the Thunderdome, or Expo Hall, the Lightning have gotten their most wins on the road at three different arenas. The Lightning have 24 wins at PNC Arena (CAR), Madison Square Garden (NYR), and BB&T Center (FLA). An interesting point is that before the Flyers moved into their current home, the Wells Fargo Center, the Lightning were winless in Philadelphia going 0-5-3-0 at the Spectrum. Since the move to the Wells Fargo Center, the Lightning are 22-17-4-1 in Philadelphia.
Winning in Europe
In addition to the normal North American locations, the Lightning have also played four games in Europe during the regular season. Their first regular season trip to Prague in the Czech Republic did not result in any wins. Their second trip, to Stockholm, Sweden, saw the Lightning bring home two wins from their European trip.
Game Winning Goals At Home
With his overtime goal in Boston on Saturday, Steven Stamkos tied Martin St. Louis for most overtime goals (10) and game winning goals (64) in franchise history. But Martin St. Louis still holds the record for Game Winning Goals at home for the Lightning with 40. He’s followed by Vincent Lecavalier with 37, Steven Stamkos with 35, Brayden Point with 21, and Alex Killorn with 18. The leaderboard is rounded out by Nikita Kucherov, Fredrik Modin, Victor Hedman, Tyler Johnson, and Pavel Kubina.
Game Winning Goals On the Road
Stamkos does have the team record for game winning goals on the road though with 29, having passed Martin St. Louis and his 24 game winners on the road a little while ago. Third on the list is Vincent Lecavalier with 23, following by Nikita Kucherov with 20. Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat are tied for fifth most with 16. The top 10 is rounded out by Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, Alex Killorn, Brian Bradley, and Vinny Prospal.
Defensemen Can Win Games Too
Victor Hedman holds the Lightning franchise record among defensemen with 20 game winning goals. Pavel Kubina sits in second with 18 and Dan Boyle in third with 13. Mikhail Sergachev is fourth on the list with six and Roman Hamrlik is 5th with five game winners. Forty different defensemen have scored a game winning goal for the Lightning and 19 of them have scored more than one.
Victor Hedman is tied with Pavel Kubina for the home record with 14 a piece. Hedman holds the road record with six game winners.
But Let’s Not Forget that Goalies Can Win Them Too
It’s really hard for a goaltender to win a game all by themselves. They’d generally need to score a goal to do that, right? Well, one way they could win it almost 100% by themselves, more like 99% by themselves, is to win the game 1-0 in the shootout. That’s really hard to do since you need both goaltenders to pitch a shutout and then at least one skater score for your team during the shootout.
Well the Lightning have gotten two such wins that way.
The first was Anders Lindback during the 2013-14 season against the Washington Capitals. Neither Lindback or Braden Holtby allowed a goal during regulation or overtime with Lindback making 18 saves and Holtby making 32 saves. Matt Carle had the Lightning’s first attempt and was the only successful shooter. Lindback stopped Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin, and Nicklas Backstrom to win the shootout.
Andrei Vasilevskiy in the 2018-19 season was the second player to do so. In a game against the New York Islanders, he and Thomas Greiss got the shutouts with Vasilevskiy making 36 saves and Greiss making 41 saves. In a similar fashion as the Lindback game, Victor Hedman got the lone Lightning shootout goal as the Lightning’s first shooter. Vasilevskiy stopped Brock Nelson, Matthew Barzal, and Josh Bailey.
Also similar between these two games is that both were on the road.
Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning and their 1,000 wins. Here’s to the next 1,000!