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Stamkos sets new franchise record with 53rd goal

by Adam Kimelman

Steven Stamkos
Center - TBL
GOALS: 52 | ASST: 35 | PTS: 87
SOG: 263 | +/-: 5
PHILADELPHIA -- Steven Stamkos set a Tampa Bay Lightning single-season record with his 53rd goal in the final seconds of the first period of Monday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Lightning took advantage of an interference penalty on Danny Briere with 5.4 seconds left in the first. On the ensuing faceoff, Tom Pyatt beat Sean Couturier on a faceoff in the left circle in the Philadelphia end. Teddy Purcell grabbed the puck and moved it to Martin St. Louis, who sent it to Stamkos just above the left circle. With traffic in front, Stamkos fired a shot that beat Bryzgalov with 1.4 seconds left in the period.

"There was five seconds left and I knew I had to get it off quick," said Stamkos. "I fanned on the first one and just tried to get it off. There was a lot of traffic in front and it went in. You'll take those ones."

The goal pushed Stamkos ahead of Vincent Lecavalier's previous single-season high of 52 goals, in 2006-07.

"It's special," said Stamkos. "Any time you can have an individual thing like that on a team that's been around for a while and had a lot of great players come through, it's pretty special. It's something you remember. I'd love to be doing this when we're in the playoff mix, that would make it even more special. It's something I've worked hard towards. I've been fortunate to play with some great players, great people and it's another memory I'll get to share with them."

Coach Guy Boucher said Stamkos still being able to perform at a high level with all the adversity the Lightning have faced this season makes him owning the mark that much more impressive.

"It's been real tough for us," he said. "It's been a month and a half going with about half the team from the American league. Him, St. Louis, Purcell, (Ryan) Malone, they've been sleeping on the ice, they've got no juice left, and he's still going. It's very impressive."

The goal also increased Stamkos' lead on Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin in the Rocket Richard race to seven goals.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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