Stamkos joins Ovechkin in 50-goal club
Alex Ovechkin has company atop the NHL's goal-scoring race.
Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos became the second player to reach the 50-goal mark this season, scoring twice on Saturday night during the Lightning's 4-3 shootout win against the Florida Panthers.
After collecting his 49th goal at 4:11 into the first, Stamkos tied Ovechkin one period later.
Stationed at the point, Stamkos fired a wrist shot that beat Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen at 5:28 of the second. He then added an assist on Martin St. Louis's tally nearly five minutes later.
Stamkos said he was excited to share the memorable night with his father, who was in attendance.
"He sent me a text a couple of weeks ago just telling me to stay focused," Stamkos said about his father. "My emotions were running when it went in and he was in the stands. It was pretty special. They can never take that away from you."
Stamkos (20 years, two months and three days) becomes the third-youngest player to score 50 goals in a season, behind only Wayne Gretzky (19 years, two months) and Jimmy Carson.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Stamkos is only in his second full season with the Lightning, registering 44 assists and 94 point to go with his 50 goals.
Ovechkin scored two goals Friday night against the Atlanta Thrashers to reach 50 for the season. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby remains one back with 49.
With Sunday's final game against Florida still to come, Stamkos has an outside chance of matching or besting Vincent Lecavalier's franchise record of 52 goals in one season.
"In between the second and third, Vinny came up to me and said, 'Welcome to the club,"' Stamkos added. "That was pretty special to be able to hear that.
"I also have to give a lot of credit to Marty St. Louis. He's been a big mentor of mine and he's pushed me to be the player I am today."
With files from The Associated Press