TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos tied a franchise record with his eighth career hat trick in a 7-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Amalie Arena on Monday.
The goals were Stamkos' first three of the season. He now shares the record with Martin St. Louis, who played 13 seasons for the Lightning.
"It's nothing you really think about before a game," Stamkos said. "You just want to make the right plays and get quality shots. The shots went in tonight and things got rolling pretty quickly. From a confidence standpoint it's good to see the hard work pay off with a team victory. That is the most important part."
Stamkos' eight career hat tricks are tied for the second-most in the NHL since he entered the League in 2008-09. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin also has eight. The only player with more in that span: Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, who has nine.
Center - TBL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 4
SOG: 19 | +/-: 0
The Lightning captain scored his third goal of the game with 1:46 remaining in the second period on a wrist shot from outside the right circle past Canadiens goalie Carey Price.
"We all made a lot of good plays tonight and it was a good confidence boost for me and some of the other guys," Stamkos said. "They are a good team so you have to take advantage of anything they give you."
Stamkos had 12 shots in the game, becoming just the fourth player in Lightning history to record at least a dozen shots on goal in a single game. The others: John Tucker (14; Dec. 16, 1992 at SJS), Brad Richards (12; March 7, 2003 vs. COL) and Vincent Lecavalier (12; March 11, 2011 vs. OTT).
The Lightning downplayed the revenge factor after being eliminated by the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring. Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said he expects a different result next time the teams face.
"Obviously he scored some goals out there tonight, but we know he can do that," Subban said. "So for us, I tell Steven to enjoy it because the next time it's not going to happen."
Prior to Monday, Stamkos' most recent hat trick came against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 19 of last season. Including the playoffs, Stamkos has 47 multi-goal games in his career.