Voting for the second group in the Best of the Bolts Round of 16 starts at noon on August 12 and ends at noon on August 15. Each matchup is listed below and you can vote as many times as you'd like for your favorite play in each matchup.
Vladdy with the Hatty vs. The Stralman Spin
JANUARY 15, 2016: VLADDY WITH THE HATTY
The Tampa Bay Lightning only had one hat trick in 2015-16.
It came from Vladislav Namestnikov, who notched three goals, including the overtime game-winner, against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena.
Namestnikov’s best of the three was goal No. 1.
Before two minutes had come off the clock, Namestnikov raced onto a pass from Steven Stamkos at the center line. The Russian forward sped past the Penguins’ defense and charged hard at Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. From the circle, Namestnikov unleashed a wrist shot over the glove of Fleury for the game’s first goal.
Namestnikov would score a power-play goal in the second period to put the Bolts up 3-1 before his winner 2:11 into overtime to complete the first hat trick of his career.
JANUARY 15, 2016: THE STRALMAN SPIN
The Lightning were scrambling late in their first meeting of the season against the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Bolts had sprinted out to a 3-1 lead by the game’s midpoint, but the Penguins scored three-consecutive goals to take their first lead with 6:12 to go.
The Lightning needed to answer or risk letting two points slip away.
Anton Stralman supplied the lifeline.
The defenseman took possession of the puck just inside the offensive zone along the wall, carried the puck into the right circle, spun around to get Pens D-man Ben Lovejoy to drop to his knees then flipped a backhander into the top far corner of the net.
A wonder goal from a guy not necessarily expected to produce them
Pure class from a classy guy
The Lightning won in overtime on Vladislav Namestnikov’s third goal of the game (and the Bolts only hat trick of the season).
Tampa Bay took all three regular season contests against Pittsburgh.
Stralman’s spin-o-rama beauty was the catalyst for the first win.
Stopping an Avalanche vs. The Captain Hits 300
OCTOBER 29, 2015: STOPPING AN AVALANCHE
The 19,092 fans at Amalie Arena barely had time to find their seats before Colorado forced Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop to make one of his finest saves of the season.
Just 15 seconds into the game, Colorado started a 3-on-1 break toward the Bolts’ goal. The Avalanche worked the puck to Matt Duchesne on the left post for a wide-open shot and sure goal.
Except Bishop dove across the net to knock the shot away with his stick.
Bishop’s save was so brilliant, Fox Sports Sun play-by-play announcer Rick Peckham’s voice cracked as he made the call.
The Lightning wouldn’t be so lucky as the game progressed, however, the Avalanche winning 2-1.
FEBRUARY 20, 2016: THE CAPTAIN HITS 300
During an afternoon game in the Steel City at the start of the Bolts’ dads trip, Steven Stamkos made history.
Stamkos became the third player in Lightning history to reach the 300 career goal mark -- joining Vincent
Lecavalier (383) and Martin St. Louis (365) – with his first period goal at Pittsburgh.
Scoring 13 days after his 26th birthday, Stamkos became the ninth-youngest player in NHL history to reach 300 and second-youngest active player (only Alex Ovechkin was younger) according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Since entering the league in 2008-09, Stamkos is second in the league for goals with 312 (Ovechkin has 362).