Steven Stamkos added his name to the National Hockey League record books Monday night.
Stamkos helped the Tampa Bay Lightning punctuate a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, adding an empty net tally at 19:57 of the third period to cash in his 200th career NHL goal.
Stamkos became the fourth-youngest player in NHL history to reach the mark at 23 years, 41 days old, with only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Dale Hawerchuk to do it faster.
The Lightning forward also added an assist for Tampa Bay, which one its second consecutive game.
The victory pulled Tampa Bay even with Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings with 27 points apiece, just five points behind the New Jersey Devils for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Maxime Talbot and Claude Giroux had a goal each for the Flyers, which lost for the second time in three games.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves in the defeat.
“We worked hard, but going into the third period and not pulling it out is disappointing,” Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said.
Purcell snapped a 2-2 tie at 9:25 of the third after screening Bryzgalov and getting a piece of Keith Aulie’s shot that he deflected past the Flyers goaltender for the go-ahead goal, that stood up as the game-winner.
“We wanted him to go to the net,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said of Purcell. “He had his best game in a while tonight. His intensity is getting there and his confidence will come along with consistent play.”
Prior to that, Philadelphia overcame a pair of one-goal deficits to tie the game twice, but couldn’t do it a third time after Purcell broke the deadlock.
Palat wasted little time opening the scoring, as he walked right in through the slot and fired a zippy wrist shot past Bryzgalov that made it 1-0 Lightning nearly seven minutes in.
Talbot tied it when he skated in through the crease and sent a backhand in that beat Lindback at 13:55.
Pyatt, though, then put Tampa Bay right back in front by a goal after tipping in a fantastic feed from Tyler Johnson through the crease just 3:08 later.
Philadelphia, however, refused to go quietly.
Giroux pulled Philadelphia even late in the second.
As Cory Conacher tried to clear the puck out of his own defensive zone, the puck skimmed off the blade of his stick and was collected by Giroux, who wristed one past Lindback to tie the game at 2-2.
That’s the way things stayed until the final period, when consecutive goals by Purcell and Stamkos in the final 10:35 put the game out of reach.
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