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Stamkos scores in long-awaited, but brief return
With the win, the Lightning took a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
After Nikita Kucherov feasted on a terrible turnover by Miro Heiskanen to give the Lightning an early 1-0 lead. Stamkos took a pass from Victor Hedman and beat Anthon Khudobin from the right circle at the 6:58 mark.
Tampa Bay exploded for three goals in the second period to pull away.
Hedman scored a power-play goal 54 seconds in to restore the Lightning’s two-goal lead and became the first defensemen since Brian Leetch in 1994 to hit the ten-goal mark.
Heiskanen tallied in the third period to complete the scoring.
Stamkos played just 2:47, all in the first period, and was relegated to the bench for the second and third periods. His status for Game 4 is unknown at this time.
Khudobin allowed five goals on 29 shots while Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 22 saves.
The teams will back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.