Stamkos has the cure for Lighting’s ills

by Gary Shelton on December 22, 2021

in general

Stamkos scored the winning goal./Tim Wirt

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Now, that'll make Jon Cooper feel better.

Cooper, who missed Tuesday night's game against Las Vegas due to Covid, had to feel a bit better after watching the Lightning rally from one of their worst starts to beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. The Bolts trailed 3-1 at one point, and were lucky it wasn't much worse.

Steven Stamkos delivered the game-winning goal on the power play with 10:13 gone in the third period. It was the 453rd goal of his career.

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"I think (the team found out about Cooper) early in the afternoon," Stamkos said. "I hope he’s doing well. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet. The reality is,  it was probably coming at any moment with what’s gong on around the league. You have to expect some more in the coming days. One or two guys get it and it spreads pretty quick.

"At this point, it’s kind of an hour-to-hour thing waiting for test results."

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 38 saves to earn his seventh straight victory. He has 17 wins, most in the NHL.

"A guy like Vasy can keep you in the game," Stamkos said. "He gives us some hope, at least. iI’s a game of momentum. Vasy gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum."

The Bolts, on the other han, had just 19 shots,

The Bolts have now won eight of their last nine games. They lead the NHL with 44 points.

Also scoring for the Lightning were Gabriel Fortier (his first NHL goal), Pierrre-Eduord Bellemare and Anthony Cirelli.

Tampa Bay plays at home next Tuesday against Montreal. The puck is scheduled to be dropped at 7 p.m.

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