Steven Stamkos C TB 2 Months

Stamkos had a procedure to remove a screw from his surgically-repaired tibia about three weeks ago and the center says he's closer to 100 percent than he has been at any point of the season, according to "It's amazing week after week how much better it feels and how much closer it's getting to where it was before," he said. "I'm excited about that."

Stammer started his offseason training regimen earlier than usual this summer in an attempt to strengthen that right leg and the results have been encouraging. "... it's way better off than where it was at the end of the year," continued the center. "I'm pretty positive it's just going to continue to get better as they work on it, as the season progresses. It's the best it's felt heading into this year, for sure." He could approach 50 goals and 100 points this season as long as that leg really is healed.

Steven Stamkos C TB 3 Months

Speculation has been mounting that Steve Stamkos might sign with Toronto once his current contract expires in 2016.

Even if Stamkos is considering doing that - and he might not be - it won't matter for a couple more years. Still, Stamkos was asked about the possibility of him signing with Toronto once he becomes an unrestricted free agent and he didn't do anything to kill the rumors. "We'll see what happens. It's a couple years away," Stamkos said. "Right now I'm focused on what I have to do to win in Tampa, and I think we've really established ourselves as a team that can compete in upcoming years. For me, that's the important thing is getting a chance to win. It looks like we're going to have that chance for a couple years."

Steven Stamkos C TB 3 Months

Steve Stamkos is optimistic about the chances of the Tampa Bay Lightning contending going into the 2014-15 campaign.

"We have a good thing going down in Tampa," Stamkos said. "We have a great owner, we've got a great GM in Steve Yzerman, and we've got a good young team. I want to win, and hopefully I can do it in Tampa." The Lightning were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens, but the loss of starting goaltender Ben Bishop was a factor in that. If the Lightning are able to stay relatively healthy this season, then they will be a tough team to play against.

Steven Stamkos C TB 6 Months

Steve Stamkos expects to play in Game 4 on Tuesday after he received an inadvertent knee to his head.

He returned for the third period after the incident occurred late in the second period. Stamkos said he felt "pretty good" after practice on Monday. He has two goals and two assists over three games in the series.

Steven Stamkos C TB 6 Months

Superstar Steven Stamkos assisted on both Lightning goals in a 3-2 playoff loss to the Canadiens in Montreal Sunday night.

The Canadiens now lead this best-of-7, first-round playoff series 3-0 with Game 4 in Montreal on Tuesday. Tampa Bay had a scare when Stamkos left the game at 16:09 of the second period with an apparent head injury. Stamkos was skating through the neutral zone when he got tangled up with Canadiens forward Brandon Prust and fell. As he was falling, Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin was skating back toward his own zone when he tried to step over Stamkos and struck him in the head with his right knee. Stamkos went down, tried to get back up and skate to the bench and stumbled before going down on one knee again to wait for the Lightning trainer. A few minutes later he got up and skated to the Lightning dressing room under his own power. Stamkos missed the remainder of the second period, but returned for the third. Ondrej Palat and Matthew Carle scored the TB goals.

Steven Stamkos C TB 6 Months

Steve Stamkos netted a pair of goals for the Lightning on Wednesday, but they ended up on the wrong end of a 5-4 overtime decision in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.

Stamkos is picking up right where he left off towards the end of the regular season by scoring in bunches, but his efforts weren't enough to lift his team to victory on this night. Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov also registered markers for Tampa Bay in the losing effort.

Steven Stamkos C TB 6 Months

Steve Stamkos is back in the playoffs after he picked up 13 points in 18 games in 2011, but this time he's the captain of a young, upstart squad.

"You're the leader of a team that's going to the Stanley Cup playoffs. It's a challenge, but it's fun, it's exciting," he said. "For me, everything that's happened this year, to get a chance to come back and play, is an unbelievable feeling. But to get a chance to be in the playoffs, and hopefully lead this team, that's a challenge. For me, you take that challenge personally, but you realize we have a great bunch of guys here." Stamkos missed 45 games this season with a broken tibia, but he still tallied 25 goals and 40 points in 37 appearances.

Steven Stamkos C TB 7 Months

Steve Stamkos might not carry much momentum into the playoffs, as he failed to score a point in his last two games of the 2013-14 regular season.

It wasn't for a lack of effort, however, particularly on Sunday. He fired five SOG against the Capitals but was unable to beat Braden Holtby in an odd 1-0 (SO) win for the Bolts.

Steven Stamkos C TB 7 Months

The Tampa Bay Lightning can secure home ice advantage for the first round by beating Washington on Sunday.

"It's in our power," Steve Stamkos said. "The fans deserve it. Our city deserves it, and we certainly deserve it with how hard we've played and the amount of adversity we've overcome as a team." Either way, Tampa Bay will face the Montreal Canadiens in its opening series.

Steven Stamkos C TB 7 Months

Steve Stamkos scored a goal and added an assist for the Lightning in Thursday's 4-2 win over Philadelphia.

Stamkos has now tallied 25 times in 35 games in his injury-shortened season, making it clear that he could have presented a strong challenge to Alex Ovechkin for the Rocket Richard Trophy had he been healthy all year. Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik and Eric Brewer all scored goals for Tampa Bay in the win.