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Recap: Stamkos scores hat trick and career goal #500 in 5-2 win over Canucks

And yes, that includes #500

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues
Jan 14, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) is congratulated by center Steven Stamkos (91) after scoring his second goal of the game against the St. Louis Blues during the first period at Enterprise Center.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Stamkos scored goal #500 and added two more to his career total in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night. Brian Elliott stopped 37 shots against in the win, keeping the Canucks at arm’s length all night. Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Alex Killorn all notched two points, with Point and Kucherov scoring between Stammer’s two in the first. Ross Colton, Brandon Hagel, and Erik Cernak also went home with assists.

The numbers were skewed for the Canucks as once they fell down 4-0, they didn’t have to worry about playing defense for the rest of the game as they didn’t have anything to lose. That’s called score effects for the advanced stats folks. The Lightning were very courteous of their east-coast fans as they got all their scoring out of the way before 10:30 pm and coasted the rest of the way.

First Period

1-0 (#500)

STAMMER!!! Stamkos got the milestone out of the way quickly as he opened the scoring off the rush less than five minutes into the game. The goal was a big result of Killorn steaming his way through all three zones (and a toe drag) with the help of Cirelli before making the pass to give Stamkos the tap-in.

2-0

KUUUUCH!! A few minutes later Kucherov joined the party with a huge one-timer from the wing after a slick passing play at the top of the offensive zone from Hagel and Point. Once again, this trio with buckets of chemistry.

3-0

BRAY BRAY!!! A few minutes after that, Martin gave up a huge rebound from a long point shot from Cernak and Point made no mistake all alone in front of the net. Woof, what a bad rebound to give up. Should I never say “Bray Bray” again? Let me know in the comments. Colton got the secondary assist on the goal.

4-0

2AMKO2!!! Stammer scored his 20th goal of the season to bookend the period (and game) for the Lightning as he got around his checker and found yet another rebound by Martin to tuck home into the back of the net. Good play by Killorn again to make the play behind the net.

Spencer Martin was then pulled for Collin Delia after the fourth goal. Four goals on 10 shots for the Canucks starting goalie.

After One

You can tell why the Canucks have a bottom-five defense. They give up first chances, they give up second chances, and as a result they give up lots of goals.

Second Period

It was a tale of two halves in the second period. The Lightning had a strong start to the period where they hung around in the offensive zone for long stretches of time and getting good chances. They were also very efficient in their own zone, namely on their first penalty kill of the game where they didn’t allow a chance but got two shorties the other way. Bellemare blocked a shot, as did Sergachev before the penalty started, but a lot of the good was coming from twisting the puck out of the corners with support to move the puck up the ice.

The Lightning got a power play soon after their kill, and the first unit took lots of shots. Colton on the second unit flew through the air as he dove towards the net at the end of the two minutes, but he couldn’t score. From this point, the Canucks pushed back and peppered the Lightning with a lot of shots. The Lightning weathered the storm by collapsing in front of their net but ended up being very static.

Stamkos nearly scored a hat trick in the final few minutes of the period when another neutral turnover created by Cirelli gave Stammer speed against his defender. He made a mode wide, then back in but couldn’t get the puck around the pad of Delia.

After Two

The Canucks fought back in the second period, but none of their chances resulted in a chance in the scoreline. Just on a pure numbers perspective the game would be very hard for the Lightning to lose.

Third Period

4-1

Andrei Kuzmenko ended Elliott’s shutout with a tip in front of the net from Quinn Hughes at the point. This goal was on the power play.

4-2

Quinn Hughes made it a two-goal game with half the third period left to go as he skated at Elliott without anyone bothering to bother him. A second power play goal by the Canucks.

With two and a half minutes left Point had a perfect chance at the empty net but a Canucks defender blocked it. In the end, it was Stammer...

5-2

Who got his hat trick to put a pin in this game!