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Goal leader Stamkos prevails in Elimination Shoot Out

by Dave Lozo

KANATA, Ont. -- It had been a while since Steven Stamkos scored during a shootout -- two full seasons to be exact.

The NHL's leading goal-scorer has been strangely unreliable during the post-overtime competition. He's 0-for-3 this season after going 0-for-7 last season. His last shootout goal came near the end of the 2009-10 season.

But Stamkos more than made up for it during the Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shoot Out.  He went 3-for-3 in the contest, beating Montreal's Carey Price twice and Boston's Tim Thomas once to win the event against 23 other shooters.


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The victory came after he hit only three of four targets in the Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting in 44.684 seconds. He tried to hit the final target by illegally skating to the net, but he missed again.

That made winning the final event of the night at Scotiabank Place a little more satisfying.

"It was fun," Stamkos said. "I figured I could redeem myself for the target shooting. It was nice to get those three goals. It was the first three goals of the season for me on the shootout."

Stamkos didn't plan any of his moves, instead going off instinct and what the goaltenders were giving him.

"I didn't know what I was going to come up with," Stamkos said. "Things just kind of came to me as I was coming down. It was definitely nice to see those three go in."

The prettiest of the three came when he beat Price with a spin move at the top of the crease that concluded with Stamkos tapping it home on the forehand at the right post.

Price allowed five goals on eight shots and just tipped his cap to Stamkos.

"Those were good," Price of the two goals he allowed to Stamkos. "That's what the good players going to do here. He was awesome."

Just three members of Team Chara advanced past the first round -- Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins, Jarome Iginla of the Flames and Kimmo Timonen of the Flyers. Team Alfredsson, which won the event, received first-round goals from Stamkos, John Tavares of the Islanders, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson of the Senators, Jason Pominville of the Sabres and Kris Letang of the Penguins.

Only Stamkos, Pominville and Tavares made it to the third round, where Stamkos beat Thomas for the winner while Thomas stopped Tavares and Jimmy Howard of the Red Wings ended the show by stopping Pominville.

The Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist was the unofficial winner of the goaltending portion of the event, stopping seven of eight shots, allowing only the goal to Malkin in the first round before stopping him in the second.

"I got out too early with the stick," Lundqvist lamented.

Even after the win in the Elimination Shoot Out, Stamkos was still upset by his showing in the accuracy event.

"I should've had the hat on. The hair was getting in my face," Stamkos said. "The guys were kind of bugging me that I don't score too many goals shooting low so I couldn't hit the low targets. So I thought I'd have some fun, take some one-timers.

"I was just trying to have fun. This is for the fans. It was a packed house tonight. It doesn't go unnoticed with the players. We want to try to showcase our skill and have some fun out there. I was just lucky and happy to see those goals go in."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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