Steven Stamkos has shown he can score in a variety of ways and situations and he proved it Monday night by setting the Tampa Bay Lightning's single-season goal scoring record.
Stamkos' 53rd goal, coming off a pass from Martin St. Louis on a power play with just 1.4 seconds remaining in the first period, helped the Lightning continue their mastery over the Philadelphia Flyers with a 5-3 victory at the Wells Fargo Center.
Stamkos and injured captain Vinny Lecavalier had shared the team record with 52 goals. Lecavalier, who is with the team but still out with a fractured right hand, originally set the mark in 2006-2007.
"Anytime you can have a record with a franchise that has been around awhile and has won a championship and has a lot of great players … that is special," Stamkos said.
The Lightning were efficient on the power play after Flyers center Danny Briere was called for interference with just 5.4 seconds left in the period.
While Stamkos earned a milestone it was St Louis who broke a 2-2 tie, beating goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on a breakaway after receiving a long pass from Tim Wallace at 2:22 of the third period.
JT Wyman increased the lead to 4-2 with just 2:49 left after Flyers defenseman Matt Carle surrendered the puck in front of the goal.
Scott Hartnell's slap shot from the left circle on the power play with 1:13 remaining helped the Flyers cut the deficit to 4-3.
However, the Lightning ended the scoring on Tom Pyatt's empty net goal.
Prior to Monday, Bryzgalov had allowed two or fewer goals in 11 consecutive starts.
And upstaging both Stamkos and St. Louis was Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson, who made 35 saves, several of the eye-popping variety against a Flyers team that was able to skate and shoot freely all evening.
Tampa Bay went 3-1 against a Flyers team that clinched an Eastern Conference playoff berth with Saturday's 4-1 win over visiting Montreal.
St. Louis' goal came after the Lightning were dominated in the second period. They were outscored, 2-0, and outshot, 16-2.
The Lightning struck first when Ryan Malone scored on a shorthanded goal at 8:08 of the first period.
It wasn't a good first period for Briere, who made an ill-advised pass that Malone intercepted near center ice and beat Bryzgalov on a breakaway.
It was the 15th goal for Malone, who now has points in 14 of his past 19 games.
Trailing, 2-0, the Flyers applied constant pressure in the second period and it paid off when Wayne Simmonds tapped in a left wing cross from Brayden Schenn, cutting the deficit to 2-1 at 3:21. Former Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina earned the second assist on the goal.
Roloson made a number of big saves, none better than when he hurled his body to block a shot to the short side by Max Talbot. Later in the period, he made another outstanding save on point blank shot by Hartnell.
Stamkos almost extended his team record when he was sent in goal by St. Louis, but stopped on a breakaway by Bryzgalov late in the second period.
The Flyers' pressure proved to be too much and they got the equalizer when a sliding Matt Read tipped in a pass from Kimmo TImonen with just 1:42 left in the second period. On a night of milestones, it was the 400th career assist for Timonen.
The Lightning would regroup with St Louis' goal and more strong goaltending from Roloson, who robbed Schenn on a power-play chance with diving save midway through the third period.