Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/11/13
Before Thursday’s home opener Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper pulled Steven Stamkos aside for a quick chat. There was no body language no sense of frustration or any other kind of signs that might indicate one of the league’s top goal scorers was pressing over not scoring any goals in the first three games of the season. But Cooper wanted to check just in case. “To be completely honest this might have been the first time that I didn’t and usually I do’’ Stamkos said. “If I don’t score in one game sometimes you have trouble sleeping in your pregame nap.’’ Turns out it was Stamkos that would give the Florida Panthers nightmares Thursday while registering his sixth career hat trick in Tampa Bay’s 7-2 trouncing of the Panthers in front of an announced sellout crowd of 19204 at the Forum — the most in a home opener for Tampa Bay since the inaugural game in franchise history. The three-goal showing was the first for Stamkos since scoring three times on New Year’s Eve 2011 against Carolina. “I kind of had an eerie feeling that tonight was going to be a good night’’ Stamkos said. “I just had a good feeling and when you play the game the right way you get rewarded.’’ New addition Valtteri Filppula also got in on the scoring act notching a pair of goals for his ninth career multi-goal game while newly named captain Marty St. Louis fittingly opened the scoring 8:13 into the game to give Tampa Bay its first lead of the season. Ondrej Palat also scored while Teddy Purcell registered three assists to tie a career high. Ben Bishop stopped 19 shots to pick up the victory the third in a row for the goaltender as well as the team as Tampa Bay moved to 3-1 on the season. But the spotlight shined bright on Stamkos who scored his second career shorthanded goal added one at even strength which was set up by his big hit in the corner and capped the night off with a vintage power play goal striking a one-timer from the left circle at 12:25 of the third period. “There is really no better feeling than producing and helping your team win especially on a night like this in front of your fans’’ Stamkos said. “And that’s what I have to do I want to be the guy who is out there in all situations and it’s really nice to get a shorthanded goal.’’ The shorthanded goal was the first for Tampa Bay since Ryan Malone scored March 26 2012 at Philadelphia and was the first on home ice since Nate Thompson scored while on the penalty kill against Atlanta on Jan. 23 2011.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clippers set new low bar for NBA playoff futility

Rendon becomes 13th player with 10 RBI in single game

LaVar Ball says he had no role in firing of sons' HS coach

Manziel not planning bachelor party, focused on NFL comeback

Bills owner struggles to answer question about competency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Olynk cracks funny joke about Thomas' missing tooth

NFL exec: Bears GM Ryan Pace 'just got fired with this draft'

John Elway consulted Jim Kelly before drafting nephew Chad

McCloughan a possible candidate for Bills' GM vacancy?

Rockies-Diamondbacks game included a broken-bat homer and the longest homer of 2017

Report: Texans wouldn’t take Jay Cutler’s calls

Getaway Day: The Nationals may be a bonafide powerhouse

NBA playoffs: Rivalries to rematches, stories to follow in the second round

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rendon becomes 13th player with 10 RBI in single game

Getaway Day: Nats may be a bonafide powerhouse

NBA playoffs: Rivalries to rematches, stories to follow in the second round

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker