NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Florida
(Sunday, April 11th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Florida 1
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Steven Stamkos scored with 12.5 seconds left to cap Tampa Bay's 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers and put himself into a tie for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy with 51 goals.
Entering Sunday's slate of games, Stamkos was tied with Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in goals with 50. The pair was one ahead of Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.
Ovechkin didn't score in the Capitals' shootout loss to Boston, but Crosby netted two in the Penguins' overtime win against the Islanders to equal Stamkos at 51.
"Pretty surreal," Stamkos said. "To do it in my second year in the league and to share it with a player like Crosby is pretty special. To win it without a guy named Ovechkin in the mix is pretty special, too. He's such a dominant scorer."
It's the first time players tied for the award since 2003-04, when Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash each had 41 goals.
Stamkos nearly didn't get the tally, but the Lightning went on the power play with under a minute to go after a hooking call on Florida's Bryan McCabe. However, the Lightning's Kurtis Foster was called for cross-checking with 19 seconds left, and the Panthers pulled Scott Clemmensen from goal to gain an extra attacker.
But just after the faceoff, Stamkos raced after the puck in the neutral zone, sped past a pair of Panthers and buried the puck in the open net.
Alex Tanguay and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for Tampa Bay, which completed the home-and-home sweep with Sunday's victory and ended its season on a three- game winning streak. The Lightning went 34-36-12 this season.
Mike Smith had 30 saves in the triumph.
Clemmensen stopped 28 shots for the Panthers, who lost eight of their last 10 games to finish 32-37-13.
"You never want to end your season in early April like this," Clemmensen said. "You always want to be in the playoffs and hunt for the playoffs, and give it our best."
Rostislav Olesz scored Florida's lone goal at 2:06 in the first period, when his shot from inside the right circle went off Smith's left pad before sliding in.
However, Tanguay batted in a rebound at 8:01 and Lecavalier whipped in a shot from the right side a little over two minutes later for a 2-1 edge.
Olesz goal was his first since January 16, when he netted two in a 5-2 win over the Lightning...Each team won three times in the season series...Florida finished the season 16-16-9 at home, while the Lightning went 13-22-6 on the road.
04/11 22:04:39 ET