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Steven Stamkos leads Lightning to victory over Blue Jackets

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The Tampa Bay Lightning turned to the stars to guide it out of a late-season slump Sunday.

Goaltender Ben Bishop? He pitched his fourth shutout of the season, stopping 37 shots by the Blue Jackets. It was the 14th shutout for Bishop as a Bolt, which tied him with Nikolai Khabibulin in the category (in six fewer games).

Captain Steve Stamkos? He scored twice, his 30th and 31st of the season, and added an assist. It was Stamkos’ fifth 30-goal season in eight years.

Ondrej Palat? He fed Stamkos for one shorthanded goal, then took a pass from Stamkos for a second.

It all added up to a 4-0 victory for Tampa Bay, a game that ended a three-game losing streak (which came after a nine-game winning streak).

Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for the Lightning.

The Lightning, which started the day in fifth position for the playoffs, finished it tied for third. Tampa Bay plays at Toronto Tuesday night.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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