It just HAD to be him.
Before the game, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was honored for scoring his 500th goal in Vancouver on the Lightning's recent road trip. (VIDEO HERE)
Then, to close out the night, Stammer scored the game-winning goal with 5:38 left in the 3rd period as Tampa Bay defeated the visiting Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.
It wasn't a classic Stamkos goal, but they all count the same. His shot from the side of the net bounced off of Minnesota's Ryan Hartman and by goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to put the Lightning ahead after Minnesota was pushing hard to take the lead.
The Wild started the final twenty minutes strong picking up seven of the first eight shots on goal on Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy, but Stammer's tally & then an empty-net goal by Nikita Kucherov with 16.4 seconds sealed the deal for the Bolts.
Vasilevskiy made 33 saves in the win. Fleury stopped 35 of the 38 shots he saw on the evening.
Neither team scored in a pretty competitive 1st period, with the Lightning outshooting the Wild 11-8.
It was Minnesota, however, who opened up the scoring in the 2nd even though Tampa Bay was on a power play.
Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev tried to keep the puck in the zone by swinging his stick like a baseball bat, but instead, he was unsuccessful and Joel Eriksson Ek blew by him and raced down on Vasilevskiy all alone. The Wild forward made a quick deke to the backhand and slipped the puck past Vasy for a shorthanded goal at 3:43 to put Minnesota up 1-0.
The Bolts answered back with the equalizer just over six minutes later.
Five seconds after a penalty to Hartman expired, Corey Perry deflected a Ross Colton slapper past Fleury to the the score at one apiece.
But those two weren't done.
Following a power play goal by Kirill Kaprizov at 11:42 to give the Wild a 2-1 lead, Perry's filthy mitts were on display once again.
At 18:55 of the 2nd while the Lightning were on a power play of their own, Colton wristed a shot from the blue line that Perry got yet another piece of to tie the score at 2-2.
That's ten straight home wins for Tampa Bay, one shy of the team record set in 2018-19.
An emotional night at Amalie ends with the home team going home with two points.
Next up, the best team in the NHL, the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
That is going to be good.
CELEBRITY SIGHTING!!! : Actor Josh Duhamel was in the building cheering on the Lightning, his new movie with Jennifer Lopez called "Shotgun Wedding" comes out this Friday January 27th exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
- Minnesota - SHG - Eriksson Ek - (Middleton) - 3:43
- Tampa Bay - Perry - (Colton, Sergachev) - 9:44
- Minnesota - PPG - Kaprizov - (Eriksson Ek, Boldy) - 11:42
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Perry (2) - (Colton, Killorn) - 18:05
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Sergachev, Kucherov) - 14:22
- Tampa Bay - ENG - Kucherov - (Hagel) - 19:43
- Minnesota - MAJOR - Middleton - (Fighting) - 10:27
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Paul - (Fighting) - 10:27
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Hooking) - 11:58
- Minnesota - Eriksson Ek - (Holding) - 12:17
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (Hooking) - 19:48
- Minnesota - Brodin - (Tripping) - 3:00
- Minnesota - Hartman - (Goalie Interference) - 7:39
- Tampa Bay - Sergachev - (Tripping) - 10:57
- Tampa Bay - Hagel - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 10:57
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Interference) - 12:52
- Minnesota - Gaudreau - (Hooking) - 16:12
- Minnesota - Hartman - (Hooking) - 15:07
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Thursday night as they welcome the Boston Bruins to Amalie Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm.
PHOTO : Getty Images