Florida at Tampa Bay

St. Louis scores three in 900th game; Lightning double up Panthers


TAMPA, Fla. -- Martin St. Louis had a memorable milestone game.

St. Louis scored three times in his 900th NHL game, Steven Stamkos added his league-leading 34th goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 6-3 on Saturday night.

"Weird things happen sometimes in situations like that," St. Louis said. "Of all the games I could have done that, it was my 900th game. It's fun. On a weekend night, my kids are here. It's pretty exciting."

St. Louis got two goals during Tampa Bay's four-goal second, helping the Lightning take a 5-3 lead entering the third. The right winger, who has six goals and 16 points during a nine-game point streak, completed the hat trick on an empty-netter during the final minute of play.

It was St. Louis' fifth career hat trick and first since Oct. 26, 2006, against Carolina. His last multi-goal game came in a 5-2 win over Ottawa on March 29.

"I feel like I haven't scored, like two goals in a game in a long time," St. Louis said. "It's nice to get on the scoreboard and help your team."

Nate Thompson and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning, who have won six of seven. Lecavalier added three assists.

Florida got goals from Tomas Fleischmann, Mikael Samuelsson and Sean Bergenheim. The Southeast Division-leading Panthers were coming off a 2-1 win over Winnipeg on Friday night.

Florida has a one-point lead over second-place Washington. The Lightning, fourth in the division, are just eight points back.

"It's a hard league," Samuelsson said. "You have to fight for every spot, for every inch there. I shouldn't say it's a like a playoff, but it's getting close to it. And teams are playing like it. You have to fight for every shift."

Stamkos scored on his own rebound to give Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead with 7:24 left in the second. The center has six goals and nine points in six games against Florida this season.

Stamkos passed up a scoring chance to set up St. Louis' last goal.

"That's just a tribute to the kind of people we have on the team," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "They're all unselfish and people who care about the group."

Bergenheim pulled Florida to 5-3 with 46 seconds to go in the second.

Tampa Bay went up 2-1 when Lecavalier scored his 20th goal this season from the high slot at 1:42 of the second. The Lightning captain has reached the 20-goal plateau in 12 consecutive seasons.

St. Louis extended the Lightning advantage to 3-1 when he picked up a loose puck just outside the crease and wrapped a shot around goalie Scott Clemmensen 2:40 after Lecavalier's goal. St. Louis also scored with 4:52 left in the second off a nifty pass from Lecavalier.

"We had a tough second period, to say the least," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "We got off to a tough start, and I think we were our own worst enemy. That was certainly the difference."

Clemmensen was pulled late in the second after allowing five goals on 25 shots and was replaced by Brian Foster, who made one save over five minutes on his 25th birthday in his NHL debut. Clemmensen returned to start the third.

"It's a really good birthday present, so I'm probably not going to forget this birthday," Foster said.

Samuelsson cut Florida's deficit to 3-2 on the rebound after Mathieu Garon made a strong stop on Bergenheim's shot from the slot at 7:06 of the second.

Thompson put the Lightning ahead 1-0 during a 2-on-1 just 1:37 into the game. Florida tied it 1-all when Fleischmann scored from the right circle at 3:54 of the first off a backhand pass from the boards by Kris Versteeg.


  • This was the final game of the season series in which the Lightning went 4-1-1.
  • Samuelsson has four goals and five points during a four-game point streak.
  • Tampa Bay LW Ryan Malone, who has missed four games due to an undisclosed upper-body injury, has resumed skating.
Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
It's a good all-around day for Martin St. Louis (26), who records his fifth career hat trick -- first since 2006. (AP)
It's a good all-around day for Martin St. Louis (26), who records his fifth career hat trick -- first since 2006. (AP)
Florida (24-16-11)1203
Tampa Bay  (23-23-5) «1416
Three Stars
M. St. Louis

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
V. Hedman

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
01:37 - Nate Thompson (7), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
03:54 - Tomas Fleischmann (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Versteeg, Weaver
01:42 - Vincent Lecavalier (20), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
04:22 - Martin St. Louis (14), Wrist Shot. Assist: Shannon, Lecavalier
07:06 - Mikael Samuelsson (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bergenheim
12:36 - Steven Stamkos (34), Wrist Shot. Assist: Downie, Hedman
15:08 - Martin St. Louis (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Lecavalier, Shannon
19:14 - Sean Bergenheim (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Goc, Strachan
19:39Power Play - Martin St. Louis (16), Empty Net. Assist: Stamkos, Lecavalier
Penalty Summary
16:40Weiss, 2 min, Tripping
18:24Downie, 2 min, Hooking
04:22Hedman, 2 min, Tripping
08:10Bergenheim, 2 min, Hooking
16:20Pyatt, 2 min, Hooking
17:50Versteeg, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
Other Games
PIT 2 Final
NJ 6 Final
WAS 3 Final
VAN 3 Final
TOR 5 Final
LA 1 Final
BUF 4 Final
SJ 3 Final
Pho 5
STL 1 Final
MIN 1 Final
DET 4 Final