NHL: Steven Stamkos reaches 500-goal milestone as Lightning down Canucks

Steven Stamkos scored a hat trick that included his 500th NHL goal, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 road win over the host Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.

Stamkos became the 47th player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal plateau, and the first player to hit the milestone in a Lightning uniform. With the three goals, Stamkos moves into a tie for 45th on the all-time scoring list, joining Hall of Famer Joe Mullen with 502 career goals.

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It took Stamkos just 4:40 into the first period to find his landmark tally, as the Lightning captain converted a nice pass from Alex Killorn in front of the net. Goal No. 501 for Stamkos came less than 10 minutes later, and he completed the hat trick with an empty-netter late in the third period.

The Lightning have won their last five games, matching their longest winning streak of the season. Two of the five victories came against Vancouver, as the Lightning also recorded a 5-4 win over the Canucks in Tampa Bay on Jan. 12.

The struggling Canucks are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games.

Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, and Killorn had two assists.

Stamkos’ first two markers bookended a four-goal barrage for Tampa Bay in the first period, and this early flurry chased Vancouver starting goaltender Spencer Martin from the game. Martin allowed the four goals on only 10 shots over 14:35 of ice time.

Quinn Hughes had a goal and an assist for Vancouver, and J.T. Miller had two assists. Both Hughes and Andrei Kuzmenko scored power-play markers in the third period, giving the Canucks a late chance at a comeback.

Brian Elliott stopped 37 of 39 shots to earn his ninth win of the season. The Canucks outshot the Lightning by a 39-25 margin, but Elliott delivered a strong performance against Vancouver’s constant pressure.

Collin Delia played well in relief of Martin, stopping all 14 shots faced.

Bo Horvat recorded an assist, and has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during his nine-game points streak.

–Field Level Media

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