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Stamkos becomes third-youngest player to score 50 in season in Tampa Bay victory

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TAMPA, Fla. - Steven Stamkos became the third-youngest player to score 50 goals in a season and he scored the only goal in the shootout to lead Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers in the Lightning's home finale Saturday night.

At 20 years, two months and three days, only Wayne Gretzky (19 years, two months) and Jimmy Carson had 50-goal seasons earlier than Stamkos - the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

The milestone goal came on a power play in the second period. He took a pass from Andrej Meszaros at the point and blasted a wrist shot past Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen.

The Lightning held a 3-2 lead midway through the third period when Nathan Horton took advantage of an errant pass and slipped a backhand shot past Antero Nittymaki on the ensuing breakaway.

Nittymaki recovered and stopped Horton on a second breakaway with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. He finished with 29 saves.

Stamkos' first goal came on a power play less than five minutes into the first period to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

Florida tied the game at 1-1 when Stephen Weiss scored on a shot that was accidentally deflected by Lightning defenceman Mattias Ohlund.

Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Frolik scored for Florida and Horton had two assists.

NOTES: The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak in home closers for the Lightning. ... Stamkos is only two goals behind Vincent Lecavalier's franchise record of 52. ... Lightning F Todd Fedoruk left the game in the second period with a lower back injury and did not return.

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