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Stamkos reaches 50 again to join exclusive club

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning scored twice Tuesday night to join the exclusive club of NHL players who reached the hallowed 50-goal mark in a season twice before their 23rd birthday.

Stamkos scored Nos. 49 and 50 against the Boston Bruins, giving the Lightning a 6-1 lead. The 22-year-old Stamkos had 51 goals two seasons ago, which tied him for the League lead with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.

Steven Stamkos holds up the puck netted as his 50th goal this season (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
He also became the sixth player in League history to reach 50 goals in a season twice before turning 23 years old. Wayne Gretzky achieved the feat a record four times, while four others -- Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Joe Nieuwendyk and Alex Ovechkin -- each had two seasons with at least 50.

Stamkos now has 30 goals in his last 36 games, and looks poised to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for the second time, which he shared with Crosby in 2009-10. He would be the fourth player to win it twice, joining Pavel Bure, Jarome Iginla and Ovechkin.

The two goals also give Stamkos 146 since the start of the 2009-10 season. He has 35 more than any other NHL player during this three-year run -- Corey Perry and Alex Ovechkin have 111 during that period.

To put Stamkos' scoring prowess in prospective, Ovechkin had 35 more goals than his closest competitor during his best three-year run, from 2007-08 to 2009-10. Ovechkin had 171 goals in those three years, while Ilya Kovalchuk had 146.

Player Team 50-Goal Seasons Before 23rd Birthday
Mike Bossy NYI 1977-78 (53 goals) and 1978-79 (69)
Wayne Gretzky EDM 1979-80 (51), 1980-81 (55), 1981-82 (92) and 1982-83 (71)
Mario Lemieux PIT 1986-87 (54) and 1987-88 (70)
Joe Nieuwendyk CGY 1987-88 (51) and 1988-89 (51)
Alex Ovechkin WSH 2005-06 (52) and 2007-08 (65)
Steven Stamkos TBL 2009-10 (51) and 2011-12 (50)
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