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Cooper says ‘just a matter of time’ before Stamkos scores versus Wings

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

Leon Halip

He had eight shots in Game 1, one in Game 2, and two in Game 3.

That’s 11 shots total, and for a guy with a pretty good shot. Yet Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos is still searching for his first goal against the Detroit Red Wings.

Stamkos had 43 goals in the regular season, second to only Alex Ovechkin and his 53.

“He’s had a couple of good looks in this series,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, per the Detroit News. “If you go down the list of some of our players who haven’t scored, he’s had a couple of helpers (assists). These guys that have done it on numerous occasions, there’s a little more weight on their shoulders.

“Does Stammer wish he has a goal or two in this series? For sure. Do I think Detroit will keep him down the whole series? I don’t. It’s just a matter of time.”

The big challenge for Stamkos -- especially in Detroit, where Wings coach Mike Babcock can deploy his troops with the last change -- is trying to get chances matched up against Pavel Datsyuk, a.k.a. one of the best two-way forwards in the game.

In Game 3, Stamkos was on the ice for 11:18 at five-on-five. For 9:01 of that, Datsyuk was on the ice too, per

Detroit leads Tampa 2-1 in the series. Game 4 goes tonight at Joe Louis Arena.