Stamkos scores 499 and Bolts survive late

by Gary Shelton on January 13, 2023

in general

Stamkos scores No. 499./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

A lifetime achievement almost spelled death for the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night.

Captain Steven Stamkos scored his 499th goal of his career against Vancouver, but that seemed to change the focus of the game for the Bolts. Instead of concentrating on clamping down on the Canucks, the Bolts instead tried to force the puck to Stamkos.

As a result, Vancouver scored two goals in the final five minutes and had a last second push for the tying goal. It took an excellent save by Andrei Vasilevskiy on a try by Curtis Lazar with two seconds left to tie the game.

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Killorn had a goal and an assist./TIM WIRT

Stamkos, who had only one goal in his previous 11 games, scored on a five-on-three power play with 14:40 to play. It gave the Bolts a 5-3 lead, and everything seemed well in hand.

"I’d liked a lot of the way we played foo most of the time," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of his team's last two games. "I didn’t like the third period. We got a little bit of the lead and Stammer got 499 and a lot of it, guys were trying to get him to 500. Rightfully so. We’re going on a five-game road trip. It would have been really cool for him to have gotten that at home."

Also scoring for the Bolts were Corey Perry Alex Killorn, Brandon Hagel and Nikita Kucherov.

It wasn't a great night for Vasilevskiy, but his last-second save left his teammates beaming.

“That’s why he’s the best goalie in the world," Hagel said. "He makes stops like that for us. It wasn’t perfect on our end, a little bit of a breakdown. But when you have a goalie like that in net ... no surprise there.

The Bolts, only a .500 team on the road, now begin a five-game road trip. They play Saturday night at 8 p.m. against St. Louis.

Vasilevskiy made the save at the end./TIM WIRT

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