Stamkos gets 498th goal, Lightning beat Coyotes 5-3
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored his 498th goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied to beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-3 on Saturday.
Stamkos stopped a six-game goal drought, putting the Lightning ahead 3-2 from the left circle during a power play at 11:12 of the second period.
“I guess it’s a good thing when you guys are calling six games a slump,” a smiling Stamkos said. “It’s something you learn to deal with as your career progresses.”
The star center tied Glenn Anderson for 47th place on the career goals list.
“Five-hundred goals is kind of a big-thing deal in this league,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said.
Stamkos has 189 power-play goals, one away from tying Pierre Turgeon for 22nd all-time. Stamkos also had a third-period assist and tied Pat LaFontaine for 89th on the career points list with 1,013.
Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev, Alex Killorn and Brandon Hagel also scored as the Lightning won their seventh straight home game.
Point set a team record with a goal in eight consecutive home games. Victor Hedman had three assists, and Nikita Kucherov added two helpers to reach 40 assists in 35 games, the fastest in franchise history.
Tampa Bay was down 2-0 early.
“Just a rough couple minutes,” coach Jon Cooper said. “I didn’t think we started the game poorly, but unfortunate break on their first goal. I do like the way we kind of regrouped after that.”
Andrei Vasilevskiy, starting for the third time in four days, made 29 saves. With a game at Buffalo postponed due to a major snowstorm, the Lightning had six days off during the Christmas break before the three-game stretch.
“This won’t be a normal thing but we thought that much time off it was OK to get him some work,” Cooper said.
Arizona, which has lost nine straight road games (0-7-2), got goals from Travis Boyd, Christian Fischer and Nick Bjugstad. Karel Vejmelka stopped 30 shots.
“Turned over a lot of pucks, I think that was probably the biggest one that killed us tonight,” Fischer said. “They thrive on that transition game.”
Stamkos’ goal came 28 seconds after Sergachev scored. Arizona challenged the play for offside, but the call stood. The Coyotes received a minor penalty for the failed challenge, leading to Stamkos’ 17th goal this season.
“I made a mistake on the challenge,” Arizona coach André Tourigny said. “I thought it was a key moment in the game and it turned out against us.”
Bjugstad scored 92 seconds after Stamkos’ goal, but Tampa Bay went up 4-3 on Killorn’s breakaway goal with 1:01 left in the second.
Hagel had a power-play goal in the third.
Boyd and Fischer put Arizona up 2-0 with goals 34 seconds apart in the first.
Boyd got the opening goal when the rebound of his shot went off Tampa Bay defenseman Zach Bogosian 6:12 into the game.
Point cut the deficit to 2-1 at 10:53 of the first by knocking home a thigh-high puck. Point has 15 goals in his last 16 games.
The Lightning look to continue their dominance over the Blackhawks on Tuesday night in Chicago. Since the Blackhawks beat Tampa Bay 4-2 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning have won 17 of 20 regular-season meetings between the teams. Vasilevskiy is 13-0-0 in regular-season games against Chicago. The Blackhawks split two games when facing Vasilevskiy in the 2015 Final.
Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz sat out with an upper-body injury.
Coyotes: Play at Florida on Tuesday night.
Lightning: The visit to Chicago starts a three-game trip.
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