Stamkos scores winner as Bolts win again

by Gary Shelton on November 20, 2022

in general

Stamkos had another game-winning goalu./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

In hockey, it is common knowledge: Danger travels in pairs.

And so, imagine the eyes of Nashville goalie Juuse Saros late in the evening. To his left was Nikita Kucherov. Straight in front of him was Steven Stamkos. Saros' job? He had to decide who was Superman and who was Batman.

Turns out, he guessed wrong.

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Kucherov had a goal and two assists./TIM WIRT

Stamkos fired in a puck for the winning goal -- the 74th time he has done so -- with 2:36 to play to lift the Bolts to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Predators.

You can understand Saros’ confusion. Earlier in the game, he had given up a power play goal to Kucherov from the middle of the ice for Kucherov's 10th goal of the season. Now, he gave up a power play goal to Stamkos from the middle of the ice for Stamkos' 10th goal of the season.

Double trouble has long been a thing in hockey, dating back to the combos of Gretzky and Messier, of Esposito and Orr, of Lemieux and Jagr. There were Howe and Lindsay, Crosby and Malkin and Lindros and LeClair. Bossy and Trottier. Yzerman and Federov. Toews and Kane. There were the Sedins. The Richards. You get the picture.

And there are Kuch and Stammer. The point guard and the boomer.

Together, they helped the Bolts overcome the brilliance of Saros with a late comeback. The Bolts trailed 2-1 with three and a half minutes to play. That was when Killorn tipped in a shot from Ian Cole to force overtime.

“You get an opporunity like that in overtime, you want to bury it, " Stamkos said. "Obviously, the game's on the line. That was a big moment. It was nice to draw that penalty. It was a nice time to come in and get two points."

Said head coach Jon Cooper: "I told the guys 'We don’t have to hurry up and win it.  We’re going to win it at some point if we just stick with what we are doing and they did. It takes discipline to do that. It’s 60  minutes. I$ you start to let emotions and frustrations get in there because you’re not putting the puck in the net — I would say to the guys “you’re getting the chances. They’re not all going to go in. It’s when they go in .' They went in at the right time for us."

Stamkos had a chance to win it earlier in overtime, but he was hit the back of the head by Mattias Ekholm. Fourteen seconds later, Stamkos scored.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots for the Bolts.

Tampa Bay is home on Monday night against Atlantic Division-leading Boston.

Killorn forced overtime for the Bolts./TIM WIRT

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