It wasn’t a signature blast from the circle on the power play. Nor was it an empty net goal. In the end, goal number 500 for Steven Stamkos was just slightly above a tap-in. Four minutes into the game, with two of his longest tenured teammates (Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman) Stamkos made history.
Most of the work was done by the only player on the team that has been in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization longer than Stamkos, Killorn. The Harvard Man, drafted a year before Stamkos, made a nice toe-drag to get around the defense and fed the puck over to Stamkos who, with that sense that the best goalscorers have, had moved to the front of the net.
Killorn’s pass was right on his stick and Stamkos shoveled it in before Spencer Martin could slide over and stop it.
Stamkos has scored his 499th goal against the Canucks and became the sixth player in NHL history to score his 500th career goal against Vancouver. The crowd in Vancouver acknowledged the accomplishment with a standing ovation as his teammates poured over the boards to congratulate him.
He would add his 501st goal later in the period.
And completed the hat trick in the third as the Lightning defeated the Canucks 5-2.