Bolts beat Coyotes behind Stamkos’ goals

by Gary Shelton on February 12, 2022

in general

Stamkos scored twice in the third period./Tim Wirt

Saturday, 4 a.m.

For almost half of his life, he has had the puck on his stick and the net in his eyes.

For almost half of his life, Steven Stamkos has been the player the Lightning turn to with the most regularity. No, he isn’t the quickest player anymore. No, he isn’t the fanciest. But when the game in tight, and the outcome is in the air, where else would you rather have the puck but on his blade?

Stamkos scored two goals, both in the third period, to lift the Bolts to a 4-3 win over an outmanned Arizona team on Friday night. Tampa Bay needed

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them to hold off an Arizona team that, frankly, isn’t that good. But after losing on Thursday night to Colorado, the Bolts were glad to salvage points.

“We had a really energetic game last night,” Bolts’ coach Jon Cooper said. “I think the guys dug in here. We’re a pretty proud group, a veteran group. We showed it tonight.”

The Bolts started well, scoring the game’s first two goals on shots by Brayden Point and Corey Perry. But Arizona kept hanging around. The Bolts played well in the second night after a back-to-back (they’e 5-0-1).

“That’s been in our DNA for a while now,” Stamkos said. “We’ve always bounced back after a loss. We didn’t have the best start against Colorado. We came in and got the win after a game we weren’t happy with last night.”

Backup  goaltender Brian Elliott won the game for his fifth win for the Bolts, stopping 16 of 19 shots.

“That’s why he’s such a contributor to our  team,” Cooper said. “He has  the mental makeup you have to have to keep yourself ready with such gaps in starts. I thought he was solid. It was a  tough game for him. He wasn’t seeing a ton of shots. They started to get some chances in the third period. He shut the door when he needed to. He knows hat his job is. He’s not going to get the starts that Vasy is.”

The Bolts will return to play on Tuesday night, facing New Jersey on the road. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. 

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