In the midst of what has already been a breakthrough season, it’s hard to imagine that there are any records remaining for Steven Stamkos to conquer.
But following Tuesday night’s game against the Canadiens, the Lightning superstar added another to his impressive list of season-long accomplishments.
Stamkos scored at 3:47 in the second period to become the franchise single-season record holder with his 17th power play goal, while also prolonging the league’s longest active point streak to 17 games.
Matt Walker and Martin St. Louis added goals for Tampa Bay, who wrapped up its season series against Montreal with a hard-fought 5-3 loss on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Mathieu Darche scored twice for the Habs, who won for the fourth time in their last five, including their third straight. Glen Metropolit, Scott Gomez and Benoit Pouliot also had goals.
Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves and Mike Smith stopped 14 of 15 shots in relief for Tampa Bay.
St. Louis’ tally late in regulation upped his point streak to four games, while marking the 16th time in the last 18 matches in which the Lightning winger has recorded at least a point.
Montreal went up 1-0 on the power play as Metropolit finished off a wrap-around feed from Scott Gomez at 2:50 in the opening frame.
Gomez later padded the lead just over halfway through the period with a wrist shot that went five hole thorough Lightning net minder Antero Niittymaki.
Niittymaki made nine saves on 13 shots before exiting the game following the first intermission.
“He [Gomez] is a good player. You have to stay close on him, get a good stick on him, play physical and don’t give him too much space,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “But for us, we just needed to get some goals.”
Tampa Bay did exactly that as Stamkos banged home a rebound from the left hash marks to cut the deficit to one as he opened the second period with his league-leading 17th goal with the man advantage.
“I thought the second period we got better. We got a couple of big goals and just needed to get going,” forward Nate Thompson said.
Montreal, however, answered back just 41 seconds later when Pouliot found the back of the net with a wrist shot from the low slot that put the Habs up 3-1 before Darche extended the lead to three goals, prompting Niittymaki to yield goaltending duties Smith.
Walker closed the margin by two at 10:03 in the second, but Darche scored his second and final goal of the game to open the third and cap the victory.
“It’s a tough place to play. We just need to step our game up and create some momentum for us,” Hedman added. “We know we can do it.”
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