Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning journal: Steven Stamkos scores his first goal since injury

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, center, celebrates his first-period goal with Alex Killorn, left, and Steven Stamkos.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, center, celebrates his first-period goal with Alex Killorn, left, and Steven Stamkos.

TAMPA — C Steven Stamkos scored his first goal in 11 months Thursday, the Lightning captain one-timing a pass from LW Vladislav Namestnikov past Penguins G Antti Niemi early in the second period of Tampa Bay's 5-4 win.

Stamkos, who last scored Nov. 15 at Detroit on the night he sustained a season-ending knee surgery, had five points through the first three games of this season — all on assists.

"I think I'm more of a playmaker now than a goal-scorer," Stamkos said after Thursday's morning skate.

He was kidding.

Stamkos was held without a goal in four preseason games and the first three regular-season games. The Lightning is counting heavily on him scoring goals this season, but he's still shaking off the rust from the long layoff.

RELATED: Lightning holds on to beat Penguins.

"Obviously everyone looks at me as a goal-scorer and expects that," Stamkos said.

But, he quickly added, he is playing on a line with RW Nikita Kucherov, who in the second period scored his fourth goal of the season, and Namestnikov (two goals). Stamkos said it's a matter of which linemate has the best scoring chance.

"I knew it was a matter of time," Stamkos said. "I wasn't losing sleep over it. I'm just happy to be playing hockey again, to be part of some wins here."

Paquette out

C Cedric Paquette became the first regular to miss a game this season because of an injury. The team did not disclose specifics of the injury.

"He got banged up (Monday). We thought a little rest would help, and it's helping," coach Jon Cooper said. "I don't see this as a long-term thing, it may be just (Thursday)."

RELATED: Joe Smith's takeaways from Thursday's Lightning-Penguins game.

Koekkoek for two

D Slater Koekkoek was the forgotten man during Monday's game against the Capitals when he played just more than three minutes during six shifts. It was a different story Thursday as he scored the first two goals of his career, including what proved to be the winner. The first came just 6:07 into the first when his shot from inside the blue line bounced off a Penguins player and into the net. "That was a lucky bounce," he said, "and I'll take those all day." His second came on a 3-on-1 early in the third, when, standing to the right of Niemi, he settled a pass from F Alex Killorn with his skate, then sent a backhander into the net for a 5-3 lead. "I was looking for (C Tyler Johnson) backdoor, but the goalie was right on me," Koekkoek said. "A little fake and he opened up his five hole."

25TH ANNIVERSARY FLASHBACK: The Lightning's inaugural season was full of heart.

Slap shots

F Alex Killorn had a career-high four assists, one shy of the Lightning record shared by Marty St. Louis and Mark Recchi. … D Victor Hedman scored his first of the season on a power play with a tenth of a second left in the first. … RW J.T. Brown and D Andre Sustr were healthy scratches.

Lightning journal: Steven Stamkos scores his first goal since injury 10/12/17 [Last modified: Friday, October 13, 2017 12:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  2. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  3. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills

    Sports

    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  4. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville

    Sports

    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
  5. Goodell: NFL not changing its national anthem policy

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday in New York. [AP Photo/Julie Jacobson]