Steven Stamkos C TB 4 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 4 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.

Steven Stamkos C TB 4 Months

Steve Stamkos is honored to be Tampa Bay's nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy.

"To be able to go through something like I did this year and have the support that I did. I've always kind of prided myself as being a person who is dedicated and works extremely hard, and lets the skill part take over from there. To be named to something like that is a pretty special honor and is one of the things that means the most to me," he said. "I want to be remembered as someone who extremely dedicated, loved the game and worked hard no matter what the circumstance." He suffered a broken tibia that required surgery on Nov. 12, but he was able to return on Mar. 6. He has 10 goals and five assists in 17 games since he got back into the lineup.

Steven Stamkos C TB 4 Months

Steve Stamkos accidentally scored on his own net during Tampa Bay's 4-3 overtime win on Saturday.

The Lightning pulled their goalie due to a delayed penalty, but an errant pass from Stamkos ended up in their empty net. Stamkos made up for it though by netting two goals, including the game-winner in overtime. He now has 23 goals this season despite being limited to just 29 games.

Steven Stamkos C TB 4 Months

Steve Stamkos has four power-play goals in his past seven games.

Stamkos' return has helped the Lightning go on a 9-for-25 tear (36 percent) during those seven contests. His mere presence on the ice makes Tampa Bay's power play more dangerous. "So, as soon as pucks go into his wheel house, everybody is thinking he is shooting and then all of a sudden he's (passing) it," coach Jon Cooper said. "So, he gives us more options and we can try to move him around a little bit. To have another shooter on the power play is good for us, and that's something we lacked because we didn't shoot the puck enough and now we shoot it more."

Steven Stamkos C TB 4 Months

Steve Stamkos buried his 21st goal of the season in Tampa Bay's 4-3 shootout loss to Ottawa Monday.

The sniper has scored at a 60-goal pace so far in his injury-shortened campaign and is really the only player currently in the league who can challenge Alex Ovechkin for the Rocket Richard Trophy over a full schedule. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman also scored for the Lightning while the red hot Ondrej Palat registered two assists in the loss.

Steven Stamkos C TB 4 Months

Steve Stamkos produced a goal and an assist in Tampa Bay's 4-3 overtime loss to Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon.

The Lightning superstar is getting back into a groove after returning from a broken leg. He has six goals and nine points in his past six outings. Radko Gudas contributed a pair of helpers in the loss, while Valtteri Filppula and Ondrej Palat had the other Tampa goals.

Steven Stamkos C TB 4 Months

Steve Stamkos recorded a natural hat trick Wednesday as the Lightning knocked off Toronto by a score of 5-3.

Whatever rust there was on Stamkos after he returned from his broken leg has clearly been shaken off now, as the sniping center has tallied five times in his last four games to give him 19 markers in 24 contests for the season. Tyler Johnson and Radko Gudas also scored for the Bolts in the victory.

Steven Stamkos C TB 4 Months

Steve Stamkos registered a goal and an assist for the Lightning to lift the team to a 4-3 win over Vancouver Monday night.

Stamkos showed rust when he returned from a broken leg in early March, but has since picked up the pace with four points in his last three contests. Ondrej Palat continued his excellent season with a goal and an assist in the game while Valtteri Filppula and Tom Pyatt rounded out the scoring for the Lightning.

Steven Stamkos C TB 5 Months

Superstar Steven Stamkos scored his first goal since returning from a broken right leg and newcomer Ryan Callahan had his first since being acquired at the NHL trade deadline, helping the Lightning hold off the Florida Panthers 5-4 in Tampa Bay Thursday night.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for Tampa Bay (35-24-7), which jumped past the Montreal Canadiens into third place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning swept the four-game series from their in-state rivals. Stamkos' goal came at 10:47 of the third period when he one-timed a feed from Valtteri Filppula past goaltender Dan Ellis to give the Lightning a 5-2 lead. It was Stamkos' 15th goal of the season and first since returning a week ago after a broken leg suffered against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 11 kept him out for 45 games. Stamkos also picked up an assist Thursday. Filppula also turned in a first-rate night with three assists. Callahan's goal was his 12th of the season. It gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead in the second period. Tyler Johnson scored his 21st of the season later in the period to lift the Lightning to a 4-2 lead. Sami Salo and Michael Kostka also chipped in for Tampa Bay with their third goals of the season.