Hats Off to Teddy Purcell and Steven Stamkos in Tampa Finale

By anthonyweihofen

In a game focused on Steven Stamkos attempting to score just one goal to reach the 60-goal mark another player stepped up to make sure his name wasn’t left in the dark.

Teddy Purcell scored not one or two but three goals in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s season finale. The Lightning beat the division rival Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in a matchup so close it had to go into an extra period for the winner to be decided.

Purcell scored the first two as well as the last goals of the evening that put the final ‘w’ of the season for Tampa into their category instead of Winnipeg’s. This was Purcell’s second career hat trick. In his two full NHL seasons (both with the Tampa Bay Lightning) Purcell has achieved a hat trick in each season.

Purcell’s three goals brought his season total up to 24 goals and 65 points finalizing new career-highs in only his second full NHL season of six years played. As great of a night as it was for Purcell and even though he almost single-handedly won the game for the Lightning more people will be talking about another big story.

Steven Stamkos scored his 60th goal of the season within three minutes of the third period to achieve a new feat in his career. This was the first time in Stamkos career he scored 60 goals in one season and he is also only the second player in the NHL to do so since the Washington CapitalsAlex Ovechkin scored 65 goals in the 2007-08 season. Mario Lemieux scored 69 goals and Jaromir Jagr reached 62 in 1995-96.

Steven Stamkos finished the season with 60 goals and 97 points to finish as the team leader in points. Stamkos had a successful late-season charge that brought the Lightning up to 10th in the Eastern Conference and eight points out of playoff contention.

So even though the season didn’t end the greatest for the Tampa Bay Lightning hats off to Teddy Purcell for an impressive season finale and to Steven Stamkos for record year.

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