Steven Stamko's second period goal was his 84th point of the season which evens the NHL-leading goal scorer (50) with Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for the league lead
Stamkos now has points in seven of his last eight games with 11 points (7G, 4A) during that stretch
With his assist on Stamkos' third period goal, Martin St. Louis now has 13 points (6g, 7a) over his past 12 games
Teddy Purcell's assist gives him 23 points (7G, 16A) over his past 13 games; he now has points in 12 of his last 13 games
Brian Lee's assist was his third helper in seven games with the Bolts
Tonight's game is the first time the Lightning have taken a 4-0 lead in the first period this season
The Lightning's four first-period goals ties for the most goals they've scored in any periodd this season
Ryan Malone's assist on Tom Pyatt's first period goal extended his point streak to seven straight games (3G, 4A)
Tom Pyatt's first-period goal extended his career high in both goals (8) and points (14)
Nate Thompson's goal gives him points in two straight games (1G, 1A) and four points (1G, 3A) over his past three games
Ryan Shannon's goal was his second in his last four games and his third point (1G, 3A) over his past five games
JT Wyman's assist was his third assist in the last five games
Dustin Tokarski's assist was the third point by a Lightning goalie this season with two assists for Garon serving as the prior two
Dustin Tokarski had no problem sharing a special evening with one of his teammates on Tuesday night.
Tokarski made 29 saves to notch his first career NHL win and even recorded an assist, a feat that was perhaps overshadowed by Steven Stamkos’ 50th goal of the season that capped a 6-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
“It’s pretty unbelievable and it feels awesome,” Tokarski said of the victory. “And Steven, he’s just so explosive and he has a sniper shot, so it was an honor to be on the ice with him when he got number 50 and it was fun to watch.”
Stamkos beat goaltender Marty Turco at 11:43 of the final period as he wristed one from the right hash marks past the net minder’s outstretched pad to record his second and final goal of the game.
In doing so, he joined Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Alex Ovechkin and Joe Nieuwendyk as the only players in NHL history to record two 50-goal seasons before the age of 23.
Stamkos also scored in the second period for the Lightning, with Brian Lee earning assists on both goals.
“It was definitely in the back of my mind,” Stamkos said of scoring 50 goals. “It was nice the last time I did it to get 49 and 50 in the same game, so it was definitely running through my mind after that first one.”
The first three goals were in the Boston net within the opening 4:31 of the game, and chased Turco to the bench. He then returned after Tim Thomas allowed two goals on four shots, and finished the night with eight saves on 12 shots against.
“When you give those teams those leads, all of a sudden guys get frustrated and get away from the game plan,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “Instead of playing the way we should, we started to cheat and it really snowballed on us tonight.”
The first period ended with the Lightning holding a 10-2 advantage in shots. Boston, however, returned the favor in the middle frame and outshot Tampa Bay 15-3.
“The second period, we played good,” Tampa Bay Head Coach Guy Boucher said. “We just missed the net.”
Jordan Caron scored the lone goal for the Bruins, which have now lost three straight.
The win helped the Lightning stay within seven points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference behind division-rival Washington, which overcame a three-goal deficit on Tuesday night to earn a 5-4 win in the shootout over the New York Islanders.
Pyatt opened the scoring after redirecting a puck with his skate in the crease at 1:56 to grab the Lightning a quick 1-0 lead.
After Thompson’s ninth of the season doubled the score just 30 seconds later, Shannon made it 3-0 just 4:31 in while on the power play by deking Turco to the far post before coming back across and firing one into an open cage.
The sequence marked the second-fastest three-goal span to open a game in Lightning franchise history, falling short of the record set on Apr. 10, 1994 when the team scored three times in a span of 3:58 against the Hartford Whalers.
Tampa Bay then went up 4-0 when Hedman fired a slap shot from the point that looked to change direction in front before sneaking past Thomas to close out the first period.
Caron cut the deficit to four when he beat Tokarski 1:55 into the third, wedging Boston’s only goal between Stamkos’ pair of tallies to spoil the 22-year-old net minder’s first career shutout bid.
The setback didn’t seem to faze Tokarski, however, as he came up with a spectacular poke check in the crease to deny Milan Lucic from in close, then turned back a shot from point-blank range by Brian Rolston to keep the Bruins at bay.
“Dustin was great,” Stamkos said of his goaltender. “He made some big saves and looked so calm in there. It gave confidence to our team.”
Tokarski became the first goaltender since Jason LaBarbera on Mar. 5, 2004 to record his first point and get his first win in the same game.
“It’s great for him,” Boucher added. “It’s a relief for him to get that first win for his team. It was real important for our players and it was great. We have an incredible team spirit in here and these guys care about each other deeply. They never waver.”
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Martin St. Louis