Stamkos Scores 400th Career Goal
Mathieu Perreault, Jack Roslovic, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Kyle Connor each scored as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Jets record to 12-8-1 (25-points) on the year. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced in the victory.
Stamkos Scores 400th Career Goal:
The loss did little to dampen the celebration for Steven Stamkos who scored his 400th goal in with 2:16 remaining in the 3rd period. It was his team leading seventh goal on the season and he becomes the first Lightning player this season to reach 20 points.
He also becomes the first player in Tampa Bay history to score 400 goals with the franchise and joins Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, Marian Hossa, Sidney Crosby, Ilya Kovalchuk, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton and Marian Gaborik as the only active players in the NHL with 400 or more goals.
“I’m sure these are one of those moments that I’ll reflect on after the fact.” Stamkos said. “But in saying that it’s still pretty surreal. I never envisioned scoring that many goals in the NHL and hopefully there’s a lot more to come. It would have been nicer in a win but it’s nice to kind of get it out of the way and focus on the next game.”
Coach Jon Cooper noted that a lot of players in the NHL are lucky to play 400 games and Stamkos has 400 goals. “That means he’s been doing it and doing it a long time.” Cooper added that Stamkos’ milestone may have helped alleviate some of the disappointment with the loss.
“Everybody was really down after the loss. We felt this was a game we definitely could have got points out of in the way we played and to come up empty the guys were down, but there was genuine happiness for Stammer. It kind of sucked the bite out of the loss because of what Stammer accomplished.”
Teammate Pat Maroon was extremely impressed with Stamkos’ achievement saying, “From minor hockey to juniors, I don’t think I’ve ever scored 400 goals in my life. And he did it at the highest level. What an amazing accomplishment. And what a pure goal scorer, him and [Alex] Ovechkin are probably the best pure goal scorers in the league.”
Lightning Lose Challenge, Jets Make Them Pay
The Bolts got off to a slow start and the Jets’ Mathieu Perreault took advantage scoring the games first goal 1:59 into the game.
Victor Hedman scored his fourth goal of the year with less than a minute to go in the first period to tie the score at 1-1. It was Hedman’s 98th career goal, tying him with Chris Gratton for 12th place on the franchises’ all-time leading goal scorers (list here). It also extended his points streak to four games.
Steven Stamkos picked up his team leading 13th assist on Hedman’s goal which also extended his season long point streak to five straight games (2-6–8).
The Jets broke the tie when Jack Roslovic scored at the 7:18 mark of the second period. Lightning Coach John Cooper challenged the goal for a high-stick that happened prior to the goal. He lost the challenge and therefore, the Bolts were assessed a 2-minute minor penalty for delay of game.
It only took the Jets 0:21 seconds to extend the lead to 3-1 when Nikolaj Ehlers took advantage of the power-play opportunity scoring his ninth goal of the season putting. Ehlers now has 10 points (7-3–10) in nine games against the Lightning in his career. The power-play goal ended a run of four-straight games and 16-consecutive kills for the Lightning penalty kill.
“We wouldn’t have challenged that unless we were 100% sure it was a high stick. Apparently you have to be 110%.” Coach Cooper said. “We don’t challenge just by chance. Everybody agreed that was a high stick, but they (video review) didn’t see it that way.”
The Lightning entered the third period down 3-1 and it stayed that way until Steven Stamkos scored his 400th career goal with 2:16 remaining in the game. His goal cut the Jets lead to 3-2.
Victor Hedman picked up the assist on the goal. It was Hedman’s 12th assist on the season and the 64th assist on one of Stamkos’ 400 career goals.
The hope for a comeback faded less than a minute later as Kyle Connor scored an empty net goal for Winnipeg extending their lead to 4-2.
Anthony Cirelli cut the lead to 4-3 scoring with 22.8 seconds remaining. Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov picked up assists on Cirelli’s goal. Killorn (3-3—6) and Kucherov (2-5—7) each extended their point streaks to four games with those helpers.
Unlike other losses this season, there wasn’t a feeling of lack of effort in the lockeroom. There was a feeling of genuine belief that they played well enough to pull points from the game.
“You could see the frustration on the bench because they were getting the chances. Maybe that’s a little tough too because you played a game 48-hours earlier where everything was going in the net” Cooper said. “and you’re kind of feeling it and all of a sudden they’re not going in the net but you’re still getting those same type of chances – that’s the humbling part of this league. Someday’s they’ll go in for you and some days not. It’s the process of getting those chances and we were.
Up Next For Bolts:
The Tampa Bay Lightning head to St. Louis to take on the Blues on Tuesday night and then travel to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks on Thursday night.