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

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

LeBron: ‘I don’t really see a problem’ with Hack-a-Shaq

Report: Asking price 'too steep' for Howard trade to Celtics

Ex-teammate: 'Fair to assume' Lynch done with Seahawks

Steve Young: ‘I’m worried about Matthew’ Stafford

Report: Clippers, Nuggets have discussed Blake Griffin trade

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

David Price donates $300K to build field for special needs kids

J.R. Smith pulls a Marshawn on 3-point contest slight

Tom Brady has clock counting down to Super Bowl LI

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The Jaguars and NFL’s permanent calling in London

John Scott’s NHL All-Star Game Odyssey: Now in storybook form

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

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

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