TAMPA, Fla. - Steven Stamkos scored his first goal since returning from a major injury, Ryan Callahan had his first goal with Tampa Bay, and the Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 on Thursday night.
Stamkos gave Tampa Bay a 5-2 lead from the low left circle during a power play at 10:47 of the third. The Lightning star, playing in his fourth game since missing 45 games after breaking his right shin Nov. 11, also had an assist after three pointless games.
Callahan scored from in-close to put the Lightning up 3-2 at 12:04 of the second. The Lightning obtained the right wing from the New York Rangers for former captain Martin St. Louis at the trade deadline.
Tampa Bay, which had lost five straight (0-3-2) also got goals from Sami Salo, Michael Kostka and Tyler Johnson. Goalie Ben Bishop won his 30th game this season. Tomas Fleischmann, Quinton Howden, Scottie Upshall and Brandon Pirri scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 14.
Upshall and Pirri scored in the final 1:05 to get Florida to 5-4.
Stamkos assisted on Johnson's goal.
The teams both scored twice in the first 8:18 of the game.
Florida, which entered last in road power play at 6.5 per cent (8 for 124) converted its first chance on Fleischmann's goal at 1:44.
After Salo tied it at 5:38, Howden put the Panthers up 2-1 on his first NHL goal, coming from the low left circle just 12 second later.
Kostka tied it at 2 at 8:18.
NOTES: It was Stamkos' first goal since Nov. 9 against Detroit. ... Lightning C Valtteri Filppula had three assists. ... Ellis, acquired from Dallas for Tim Thomas on March 5, made his Panthers debut. ... It was Howden's first NHL game this season and 19th overall. He was recalled from San Antonio of the AHL Wednesday. ... Florida LW Sean Bergenheim didn't play due to a lower body injury. ... Salo (lower body) and teammate Radko Gudas (left leg) both played.
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