Returning from a seven-month absence, Steven Stamkos suited up for the Tampa Bay Lighting on Wednesday night and scored a goal in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars.
The Lightning captain had not played in a game since Feb. 25, having been injured prior to the league shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stamkos underwent surgery in March to repair a core muscle. He had an initial recovery timeline of six to eight weeks, but it's believed he aggravated the injury and experienced at least one setback since then while trying to join the team.
It took him just 6:58 to produce his first goal of the 2020 playoffs on his first shot. He scored on a wrister in the first period off assists from Victor Hedman and Jan Rutta to put Tampa Bay in front 2-0.
Stamkos, who has netted 155 career power-play goals, is expected help Tampa Bay's man-advantage unit, which snapped a 0-for-15 slump with two goals in a 3-2 victory Monday in Game 2.
The series was tied 1-1 heading into Wednesday's clash.
--Field Level Media