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Steven Stamkos sets team goal record; Tampa Bay clinches Presidents' Trophy

By Connor Grott
Steven Stamkos sets team goal record; Tampa Bay clinches Presidents' Trophy
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) scored his 384th goal to pass Vincent Lecavalier as the franchise's all-time goals leader. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 19 (UPI) -- Steven Stamkos set the franchise goal record for Tampa Bay as the Lightning clinched their first Presidents' Trophy in team history.

Stamkos scored his 384th career goal to pass former Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier as the franchise's all-time leader.

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Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh fired a shot on net from the point. Stamkos, who camped in front of the net, tipped the puck past Arizona Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper on a redirection for the historic goal.

"Steven is the best goal-scorer in Lightning history and now he has the record to prove it," Lecavalier said. "How he's gotten to 384 -- all the adversity, scoring from all over the ice -- and still managing to set the record in a relatively small number of games is remarkable and further establishes 'Stammer' as one of the top goal-scorers in the history of the game. It's an honor to call him a friend and a teammate.

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Tampa Bay clinched the Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference and Presidents' Trophy with its 4-1 win over the Coyotes on Monday night. The Lightning (56-13-4) have won five consecutive games.

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"Trophies are hard to win, they truly are," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told reporters. "And I think when you win one you should be [darn] proud of it.

"I know when you think of the National Hockey League and you see it every June that the Stanley Cup is raised over someone's head. But there are 82 games played before you get to that point and I know there's a lot of teams in this league that have not won that trophy."

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Clayton Keller scored the Coyotes' lone goal against the Lightning. Arizona (36-31-6) holds the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, leading the Minnesota Wild by one point.

Tampa Bay plays the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. The Coyotes take on the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

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