Steven Stamkos Becomes 20th Player in NHL History to Score 60 Goals

Sean BafaroContributor IIApril 8, 2012

Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos became the 20th player in NHL history to score 60 goals in a season
Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos became the 20th player in NHL history to score 60 goals in a season

The Tampa Bay Lightning's star sniper Steven Stamkos has certainly left his mark on the NHL since being selected with the first pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In his short career Stamkos has etched his name in the NHL's history books for:

  • Most overtime goals in a season with five
  • Broke Lightning's single season high in goals when he scored his 53rd of the season
  • Third youngest player to reach 50 goals in a single season
  • Won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer in just his second season
  • Became the sixth player in NHL history to record two 50 goal seasons before turning 23 years old.

In today's game against the Winnipeg Jets, Stamkos joined another long list of elite goal scorers. At 3:29 of the third period, he received a pass in the slot from teammate Martin St. Louis and wired a shot past Winnipeg's goaltender Ondrej Pavelec's glove for his 60th goal of the 2011-2012 season.

Stamkos became just the 20th player in NHL history to score 60 goals in a season, joining NHL legends like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Brett Hull. 

He joined Washington Capitals' captain Alexander Ovechkin as just the second player to score 60 goals since 1996. Ovechkin accomplished the feat by scoring 65 goals in the 2007-2008 season. However, one can argue that Stamkos' 60 goals this season are more impressive than Ovechkin's 65 goals because the league as a whole has seen a decrease in scoring with more emphasis being placed on defensive hockey.

After hearing chants of "No goal Stamkos" all night long, Stamkos received a standing ovation from a sell-out crowd at MTS Center upon scoring the landmark goal, despite the fact that Winnipeg fans are widely considered to be some of the most hostile fans in the NHL. The ovation just goes to show how big of an accomplishment it was for one of the NHL's best players.

Tampa Bay would end up winning the season finale in overtime, but make no mistake about it, this game was all about No. 91. Hockey fans across the world had one eye glued on the box score to see if Stamkos would be able to reach the historic milestone, and he did not disappoint.

Video of Stamkos' historic goal can be seen at: