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Stamkos nears 500 career goals as Lightning welcome Canadiens

Tampa Bay enters the game looking to extend their four-game home win streak.

TAMPA, Fla. — After having their last scheduled game postponed due to weather against the Buffalo Sabres, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be back out on the ice Wednesday night. 

The Bolts will host the Montreal Canadiens, and all eyes will be on team captain Steven Stamkos as he tries to reach his 500th career goal. He is currently three goals shy of that mark. 

Stamkos has not scored in his last four games, but he said he won't let that derail his play on the ice — as long as his team can get back to winning games, that means more to him than reaching 500 career goals.

"When it happens, it happens and that's kind of been my mindset about that," Stamkos said to Bolts TV. "If you start thinking about it too much, that's when it gets in your head a little bit. Every single game, you'd like to get three [goals] and if it doesn't happen, then you go from there."

If Stamkos happens to get a hat trick on Wednesday evening, he will be the third active player in the NHL with at least 500 goals and 1,000 points, according to Quant Hockey. Washington's Alexander Ovechkin has 802 goals and 1,451 points while Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby has registered 536 goals and 1,452 points.

Tampa Bay is in the midst of a four-game home winning streak and is coming up against a Montreal side that has only one win in their last six games. 

The last time these two teams met was on Dec. 17 when the Bolts defeated the Canadiens 5-1 away from home. 

However, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said the Canadiens still pose a threat to his side, even in a shaky run of form. 

"The fast start against Montreal [on Dec. 17] was that we scored first, but the puck was in our end at the beginning of the game for quite a bit," Cooper told Bolts TV. "If we start off being the better team, that will help us a bit [on Wednesday]." 

The puck drop for Tampa Bay's clash against Montreal is scheduled at 7 p.m. Wednesday inside Amalie Arena. 

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