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Lightning's Stamkos humble scoring 250th goal

by Corey Long

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos didn't want to make a big deal about closing in on his 250th NHL goal.

Truth be told, he doesn't think it's much of a milestone.

"It's kind of cool to think about when you are getting close to something like that, but I never really thought something-and-50 was a milestone," Stamkos said before scoring that goal against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. "I think when you get to 200, 300, 400 … I mean it's halfway to 500, but if we're at 499 one day you can ask me if I'm thinking about the next goal. Not that I am taking it for granted, it's always fun to score goals, but I want to help this team."

Youngest to 250 NHL goals
1. Wayne Gretzky - 22 years, 28 days
2. Mario Lemieux - 23 years, 77 days
3. Dale Hawerchuk - 23 years, 289 days
4. Alex Ovechkin - 24 years, 126 days
5. Pierre Turgeon - 24 years, 199 days
6. Steve Yzerman- 24 years, 222 days
7. Jimmy Carson - 24 years, 241 days
8. Mike Bossy - 24 years, 275 days
9. Michel Goulet - 24 years, 302 days
10. Steven Stamkos - 24 years, 305 days

Stamkos scored 47 seconds into the second period at Amalie Arena. It tied the game 2-2, but the Lightning lost 5-3.

For the 24-year-old captain, the number of goals isn't as important as a victory would have been. That could be the reason there wasn't much talk about it in the locker room beforehand.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he's sure achievements can creep into a player's mind, but Stamkos was more concerned about the team's performance.

"I'm sure [the milestone] crosses his mind sometimes," Cooper said. "But it's not what matters to him. He wants to play hockey, play it the right way and win games. He's an elite goal scorer and he's got the best shot on the team … one of the best in the League, but he wants his legacy to be about wins and championships."

With his 250th goal (17th this season) Stamkos became one of the 10 youngest players in the League to reach the mark. He won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy in 2010 and 2012 for leading the League in goals.

"Being one of the younger guys to do it is a cool stat, but it's not something I'm going to go celebrate over or think about too much," Stamkos said. "To me it's just another game and an opportunity to produce."

Lightning forward Alex Killorn has spent the past two seasons as one of Stamkos' linemates. The 2007 third-round draft pick said Stamkos shows the ability and presence around the net that can't be taught.

"He has a sixth sense for the net, it was something he was born with," Killorn said. "He has that sense to know where the goalie is and what he's going to do, and he works hard at it."

Tyler Johnson said despite Stamkos' reputation as a goal-scorer he is a complete player who works hard on both ends of the ice.

"Everyone knows Stamkos is a goal-scorer, he's one of the best in the world at it," Johnson said. "But he plays the game right, he plays the defensive game, he plays in all situations and he'll play on the penalty kills. You don't expect that from a lot of goal scorers, but he just plays the game hard and plays it the right way."

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