You knew Steven Stamkos wasn’t going to stay too quiet for too long. He went without a goal through the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s first three games of the season, but more than made up for that goal drought when he pounded home a hat trick against the Florida Panthers.
What made the trick even more impressive was how he accomplished it: Stamkos scored one goal at even strength, one on the power play and added a short-handed goal.
The shortie came first, as Stamkos hooked up with Martin St. Louis on an innocent looking rush. He drove to the net after pitching the puck to the boards and managed to deflect it up and over Jacob Markstrom.
The second goal might be the most impressive. If you watch the play at full speed, you will notice the it is Stamkos that starts the play off with a hit behind the net. There’s a scramble out front, and then he goes full-on ghost mode, slipping into the soft area in the right circle before catching a perfect pass. He knows what to do with it, and doesn’t miss from there very often.
And then on the third, Stamkos just hammers it home from the top of the circle. Scott Clemmensen had no prayer after sitting on the bench through two periods of play.
In case you’d forgotten since last season, Stamkos served notice that he was still one of the most electric goal scorers in the league last night.