Pressure back on Stamkos to score - FOX 13 News

Pressure back on Stamkos to score

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Jon Cooper found a pair of sunglasses on his way to the podium to talk with reporters after the Lightning morning skate Thursday. The future's so bright...?

Cooper knows his team is running out of games with 17 left to play, so those lenses are definitely not rose-colored. But, when it comes to Steven Stamkos, the Bolts head coach knows better days are ahead -- maybe even tonight, hosting the Panthers at the Forum.

"I had this exact conversation. It's eerie how this plays out, but... his first three games of the year to start the year, he didn't score," Cooper said. "And then his fourth game was Florida. And we had a long talk. 'Are you frustrated? No, I'm getting my chances, it's gonna come.' And then we played Florida and he had three. So the irony is, it's three games back, now it's his fourth game back. It's against Florida, really hopin' he has three tonight."

One goal, one point would be huge for Steven Stamkos right now. He has zero points in his three games back since his return after breaking his leg in November.

Stammer might spend some time at wing to take stress off his leg and to stress more scoring opportunities.

"You don't feel perfect out there, but once the game starts you try not to think about it. That's the thing that maybe I've been struggling with -- it's the mental part of it going into certain situations, just having to trust that everything's gonna be all right when you come out of it," he said.

Key for the Lightning right now would be for the players around Steven Stamkos to take some of the pressure off by scoring.

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