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Stamkos Scores in Return to Lightning Lineup

Steven Stamkos returned for the Lightning in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. He also happened to score a goal.

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It was revealed about an hour before Game 3 that Steven Stakmos would be in the lineup for the Tampa Bay Lightning. And, it took less that one full period for Stamkos to make a difference as he scored about half way through the first period and during his third shift.

Stamkos has missed the entire postseason for the Lightning up to this point, but there was buzz he’d be able to make it back in time to take part in the Stanley Cup Final. He missed the first two games of the series and there would be questions about how much Stamkos might play moving forward. But, the belief was that a partially healthy was still better than nothing. And, it was believe coach Jon Cooper wasn’t going to put him in if he couldn’t play.

Stamkos’ Ice Time

He did play a little less than a regular shift up until the goal, but as the period progressed, he got more ice time and was on the Lightning power play at the midpoint mark of the frame.

Unfortunately, the steady increase in ice time didn’t last. Stamkos didn’t return for the second period but did return to the bench to cheer on his team.

As Emily Kaplan of ESPN notes:

He draws in the lineup today, first game in 211 days. Scores on his first shot. Plays ~3 minutes, rides the bench whole 2nd period, who knows if we’ll see him again. Whatever happens, this is going down in Stanley Cup lore.

This was his first game since Feb 25 is in Stanley Cup Final. Certainly, it proved to be a big emotional boost to Tampa Bay as they were up 5-1 by the end of the second period.

Next: Craig Anderson Will Not Be Back With Senators Next Season

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