Sidney Crosby may be making his return to the ice later this week, but the NHL has a new top young star: Steven Stamkos. In tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins, Stamkos scored his 49th and 50th goals of the season, giving him his second 50 goal season of his young career.
Stamkos’s career has zoomed off to an improbable, incredible start, ranking him up among the all-time hockey greats. While it’s yet to be seen if his career continues to rise or if Stamkos flattens out like Alex Ovechkin, this is one huge accomplishment:
Stamkos , 22, is the sixth NHL player with two 50-goal seasons before age 23: Gretzky, Bossy, Lemieux, Nieuwendyk, Ovechkin.
— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) March 14, 2012
Stamkos’s goals didn’t end up meaning much in the context of the game, as the Lightning won by the score of 6-1. But still, it’s not every day that any player scores two goals against the Bruins’ defense.
In other news, if tonight’s game was Dustin Tokarski’s first real test, he passed with flying colors. The rookie goaltender saved 33 out of 34 shots against, holding Boston’s high-powered offense scoreless until the beginning of the third period. The Bruins put a lot of pressure on him in the last period, putting 17 shots on net, but Tokarski held them to just one goal. And as an added bonus, Tokarski got his first NHL assist tonight, as he got the second assist on a power play goal in the first period.
For their next game, the Lightning will face the Maple Leafs on Thursday at 7:30pm. Be sure to drop on by SB Nation Tampa Bay for full game coverage.
For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning, check out SB Nation’s blog on the Bolts, Raw Charge.