Vincent Lacavalier #4 and Steve Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate Stamkos' goal in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres, his first in the NHL, on October 30, 2008 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York.
(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Stamkos' First Goal - October 30, 2008
Steven Stamkos’ quick ascension through the ranks of the NHL came as a surprise to hardly anyone. After being selected first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Lightning center set a franchise record by scoring 23 goals as a rookie and finished fifth in total points among all NHL first-year players. Even so, on top of countless memories of his rookie year in the NHL, Stamkos vividly remembers the one that started it all.
“It was on the power play,” Stamkos said. “I was standing in front of the net and Marty (St. Louis) was at the top of the point. He passed it over to Vinny (Lecavalier) on the right side and he let one of his great one-timers go. I remember just trying to get a stick on it to screen the goalie or wave at the puck, and it actually tipped off the shaft of the stick, not even the blade, and it went in.”
Memorable? Definitely. The way Stamkos envisioned it? Hardly.
“It was funny because [the officials] originally didn’t give the goal to me,” he said. “They actually credited it to Vinny because they didn’t know that I tipped it in. I think it took them about a whole period to finally go over the video and they changed it. Overall it was kind of a weird one, not the prettiest goal, but nonetheless it was my first one and to make it more special, I got to do it in front of my friends and family.”
Stamkos scored again later in the game, and also recorded one assist in helping the Lightning earn a 5-2 win.
Where the puck is now: “The organization put it in a nice glass case and framed it up, and I actually got a piece of the mesh net as well and still have my stick. The puck is at my house and the mesh is up at my parents’ house, but I think we’re going to figure out a way to incorporate the mesh, the puck, and the stick so we can make it a pretty nice piece of memorabilia.”