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Lightning Round: Steven Stamkos approaching a career season

The Captain has been on a hot streak

2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Tampa Bay Lightning v Nashville Predators Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Late in the game against the Florida Panthers, Steven Stamkos calmly swept home a one-timer for his second goal of the game. It was the eighth goal of the night for the Lightning and there was little celebration on The Captain’s part. He scored like he had done it before. Of course, he had. It was his 37th goal of the season and the 476th of his career. For the sixth straight game Stamkos posted multiple points, and it was his fourth in a row with three or more.

He now has 97 points on the season which is just one off of his career high which he set back in 2018-19 when he had 45 goals and 53 assists. With three games left he also has a shot at hitting 40 goals for the first time since 2018-19 and for the sixth time in his career. Not bad for a 32-year-old. After setting the new franchise record for points, he hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down.

His resurgence can be tied to the fact that he plays with some really good linemates no matter what line he is on, and he’s bounced from the top line to the third line this season. Stamkos has also rediscovered his scoring touch on the power play with 15 goals and 18 assists on the man advantage.

Having a full off-season to train instead of having to rehab for a portion of it has also been beneficial for his productivity. He came into the season the healthiest he’s been in a few years and will likely hit the 80-games played mark for the fifth time in his career.

Not only has he been rolling offensively, he’s holding his own defensively as well, something that he takes great pride in. While he’s not going to win a Selke anytime soon, he’s keeping the Bolts above water defensively when he’s on the ice.

Evolving Hockey

While it’s not important in the grand scheme of things, ticking off a 100-point season would be yet another item checked off on his Hall of Fame resume.

Lightning / NHL News

Lightning score a bunch more than Florida [Raw Charge]

Many goals, too many penalties, and a couple of fights. There isn’t much more you can ask for in a hockey game. That’s three in a row for the Bolts, including wins over Toronto and Florida, the two teams next to them in the standings. Florida is having a good year, but they did seem to get a little unnerved at the end of the game.

The School Bus Line’s unique chemistry [NHL.com]

The ‘School Bus’ line is filled with three players who simply ‘get it.’ The three of them all have a great appreciation for the game. They all know that the ride won’t last forever and they’re enjoying every step along the way before it’s over.

Terry Crisp is hanging up the microphone [Tampa Bay Times]

The first man behind the bench for the Lightning is retiring from broadcasting after 23 years. Add his playing and coaching career and the man has been in the game for six decades. That’s pretty darn impressive.

Crunch clinch playoff spot, then beat Bears, 5-3 [Syracuse Crunch]

Syracuse finished up a three-for-three weekend with a victory over the Hershey Bears. Simon Ryfors, Charles Hudon, Remi Elie (x2), and Gemel Smith scored for the Crunch while Hugo Alnefelt stopped 31-of-34 for the win. With Rochester losing earlier in the day, the Crunch clinched a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs. Now they’re looking for seeding.

As you can see things are clearing up in the AHL picture. Well, clear being open for interpretation in the North.

Alex Ovechkin leaves game after slamming into endboards [RMNB]

Not only did the Capitals blow a one-goal lead in the final minute to the Toronto Maple Leafs, they also lost their icon when Ovechkin tripped over Erik Kallgren’s stick on a breakaway and slammed shoulder first into the boards. There were no updates following the game.

Fans pay tribute to Guy Lafleur [CBC]

Fans at the Bell Centre honored Guy Lafleur with a 10-minute ovation, delaying the start of the Canadiens/Bruins game. For the game, Montreal removed the ads along the boards and displayed a tribute to the Hall of Famer with just his name, signature, number, and years of his life.

It was the end of an era in Anaheim as Ryan Getzlaf played his final game in front of the home crowd.