Steven Stamkos nets hat trick and Tampa Bay Lightning tops New York Rangers 6-3 at Amalie Arena

The captain also scored his 700th career point on Monday.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning hasn’t lost since CL last checked in with the team during a November 29 game against the Buffalo Sabres, and the good times rolled as another Empire State foe — The New York Rangers — brought a 14-12 record into Amalie Arena for a Monday night game that eventually saw the Bolts’ league-leading win streak extended to seven games on the heels of a 6-3 victory that brings the Lightning’s record to 24-7-1 (also a league best).

Lightning fans had to be feeling good going into the game, too, as the Bolts entered the game with a league-high 47 points and the highest points percentage in the NHL. The Lightning had also scored at least three goals in every one of its wins during the streak. What’s more is that Lightning goaltender Louis Domingue — a backup still filling in for an injured Andrei Vasilevsky — had allowed a total of just four goals in his last three turns in the net. In short, everything is firing on all cylinders at the moment.

A former Ranger got the scoring started after a shot from New York’s Kevin Hayes deflected off of Bolts defender Ryan McDonagh’s skate and past Domingue, who would also let another Hayes goal slip by him later in the period. The Lightning worked four power plays during the frame, and Bolts captain Steven Stamkos put another signature slap shot in the back of the net, but the Bolts kicked off the second period down 1-2.

Domingue had a great second period save on Rangers center Steven Fogarty midway through the frame, and the stop, which kept the game at 1-2, gave Stamkos enough time to score another power play goal after a great feed from Brayden Point. The goal was Stamkos’ 700th career point and came in just his 696th game. Stamkos became the third player in Lightning franchise history to reach the 700-point milestone, joining Martin St. Louis (953 points) and Vincent Lecavalier (874 points).


Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist continued to show why they call him King with some impressive saves (including one lying down on the goalline to deny Stamkos a hat trick), but his former teammate McDonagh eventually cracked the armor by getting Lundqvist off center long enough to go five-hole on the netminder 12:42 into the frame, putting the Bolts up 3-2 before the second period expired.

Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (who delivered a gigantic third period hit on New York defender Pionk) was rewarded for his hard-nosed play when he scored a goal to put the Bolts up 4-2 with 9:42 left in the game, but Stamkos reclaimed the spotlight 23 seconds later by beating Lundqvist glove side for his third goal of the game. It was the ninth career hat trick for Stamkos, who has recorded five goals and seven points in his last two games.

The excitement wasn’t over either as the Lightning’s Erik Cernak got into a tussle with the Rangers Matt Beleskey, who lost his helmet and then proceeded to get tagged up by the 21-year-old, 6-foot 4-inch, 225-pound Bolts defenseman. The Rangers narrowed the lead to 5-3 after Jasper Fast scored his third goal of the season following a Stamkos turnover, but Cirelli iced the game by talling an empty netter to make it 6-3 with just 38 seconds left. In the end, the Lightning outshot the Rangers 29-13 in yet another dominating performance.

The Bolts’ next game is the team’s biggest of the season and finds the Lightning welcoming the NHL’s second best squad — The Toronto Maple Leafs — to Amalie Arena on Thursday, December 13. Leafs fans travel well (and are perhaps the friendliest in the league), so expect an exciting game to unfold after the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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