Florida at Tampa Bay

Stamkos' hat trick sparks Lightning in rout of Panthers

CBSSports.com wire reports

TAMPA, Fla. -- Steven Stamkos stopped worrying about not a scoring goal over an extended period.

On Thursday night, the Tampa Bay star showed why.

Stamkos had three goals and an assist, Valtteri Filppula added two goals, and the Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 7-2 on Thursday night.

Stamkos, second in the NHL with 29 goals during the abbreviated 2012-13 season, stopped a five-game goal drought dating back to last season.

"To be completely honest, I think this might have been the first time that I didn't [worry]," Stamkos said.

"Usually I do. If I don't score one game, sometimes you have trouble sleeping, thinking what you should have done. I just kind of had an eerie feeling that tonight was going to be a good night."

Stamkos completed his sixth career hat trick on a one-timer from the top of the left circle during a power play at 12:25 of the third.

"He scores when he get opportunties," Lightning goalie Ben Bishop said. "It's a lot nicer having him on your team than playing against him."

Martin St. Louis added a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who have won three in a row after a season-opening loss at Boston. Bishop made 19 saves and improved to 3-0 on the season.

Florida, which lost three of four during a season-opening road trip, got goals from Brad Boyes and Jonathan Huberdeau.

"We didn't respond well to pressure," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. "When they pressured our players, instead of responding to that, understanding that it was coming, I think it created turmoil for us."

Filppula scored back-to-back third-period goals to give the Lightning a 6-2 lead.

St. Louis, playing at home for the first time since being selected team captain earlier this month, made it 1-0 off a pass through the slot by Stamkos 8:13 into the game.

St. Louis has 917 points, which moved him past Bobby Orr (915) into 94th place on the NHL all-time list.

"I don't think it's something that you think about when you start your career," St. Louis said. "A pretty special player that I get to pass."

St. Louis' goal marked the first time this season that Tampa Bay took a lead during regulation. The Lightning's other two victories came in overtime and a shootout after third-period comebacks.

Stamkos put the Lightning up 2-0 when he beat goalie Jacob Markstrom for a short-handed goal at 13:54 of the first. It was Tampa Bay's first short-handed goal since Ryan Malone scored one on March 26, 2012.

"You know they're dynamic," Dineen said of Stamkos and St. Louis. "You know that if one guy has the puck, he's looking for the other guy, that they're really highly skilled players, but more than anything, they work as hard as anybody in the league. If you don't match that, if you don't have 100 percent buy-in and effort to try to contain them, you're going to get lit up like we did tonight."

Boyes got the Panthers within 2-1 on a power-play goal 59 seconds into the second. Florida had failed to convert on its previous 17 man-advantage opportunities this season.

Tampa Bay went up 3-1 when Stamkos scored from the right circle with 8:21 left in the second. Ondrej Palat added a late second-period goal.

Huberdeau, last season's Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year, scored his first goal in nine games early in the third.


Florida G Tim Thomas (groin) said he felt "better" after skating and taking some shots Thursday. Dineen said it's very doubtful that Thomas, who was hurt Tuesday at Philadelphia, will be ready for Friday's home opener. ... Panthers C Shawn Matthias played after missing the morning skate due to flulike symptoms. ... Markstrom was pulled midway through the third after allowing six goals on 24 shots.

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Steven Stamkos is surrounded by haberdashery after the two-time NHL goals leader notches his sixth career hat trick.  (USATSI)
Steven Stamkos is surrounded by haberdashery after the two-time NHL goals leader notches his sixth career hat trick. (USATSI)
Florida (1-3-0)0112
Tampa Bay  (3-1-0) «2237
Three Stars
S. Stamkos

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 1
V. Filppula

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. St. Louis

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
08:13 - Martin St. Louis (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stamkos, Purcell
13:54Short - Steven Stamkos (1), Tip-In. Assist: St. Louis, Hedman
59.0Power Play - Brad Boyes (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Campbell, Fleischmann
11:39 - Steven Stamkos (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Carle, Malone
15:51 - Ondrej Palat (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Killorn, Bishop
03:48 - Jonathan Huberdeau (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Gomez, Versteeg
06:38Power Play - Valtteri Filppula (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Carle, Killorn
09:14 - Valtteri Filppula (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Purcell, Salo
12:25Power Play - Steven Stamkos (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Salo, Purcell
Penalty Summary
06:12Weaver, 2 min, Hooking
11:55Panik, 2 min, High sticking
19:40Hedman, 2 min, Hooking
04:31Labrie, 2 min, Interference
05:18Huberdeau, 2 min, Holding
07:45Winchester, 2 min, Cross Check
13:11Gudbranson, 5 min, Fighting
13:11Crombeen, 5 min, Fighting
04:57Goc, 2 min, Delaying Game
10:56Winchester, 2 min, Hooking
13:22Labrie, 2 min, Holding
16:44Upshall, 2 min, Cross Check
16:44Hedman, 2 min, Roughing
17:45Carle, 2 min, Cross Check
Shots On Goal
Jacob Markstrom49:14186
Ben Bishop59:58192
Game Information
Attendance - 19204
Referees - Chris Rooney, Jean Hebert
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Derek Nansen
Other Games
Colo 2 Final
Bos 0
Colu 4 Final
Buf 1
Car 3 Final
Wash 2
Pho 4 Final
Det 2
Wpg 1 Final
Min 2
Tor 4 Final
Nash 0
Mon 4 Final
Edm 1
NYR 0 Final
Ana 6
SJ 4 Final
Van 1