Lightning rides Vasilevskiy to another victory

by Gary Shelton on January 26, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Vasilevskiy won his 29th game of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Vasilevskiy won his 29th game of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 3 a.m.

When a team's front line stars are struggling, it is up to the next line.

You know. Like the Lightning did on Thursday night.

The Bolts, playing in their final game before the All-Star game, blasted the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-1, despite being outshot 37-22.

 Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Namestnikov  scored twice to close out the Flyers./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Namestnikov scored twice to close out the Flyers./ANDREW J. KRAMER

The Lightning showed off its depth against the Flyers.

Braydon Point, the team's newest All-Star, scored his 20th goal of the year.

Vladamir Namestnikov scored twice, and now has 18 goals.

And rookie Yanni Gourde scored his 17th goal of the season and his third goal in three nights.

Point, a new All-Star, scored his 20th goal./CARMEN MANDATO

Point, a new All-Star, scored his 20th goal./CARMEN MANDATO

All of it was good enough to whack the Flyers. All-Star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 of 37 shots. And if you're worried about stars Steven Stamkos (one goal in 10 games) or Nikita Kucherov (one goal in nine), well, they each had two assists on Namestnikov's goals.

Defenseman Anton Stralman said that Vasilevskiy's play early made the difference.

“He played great. Fantastic. He held the fort down in the first period. We could easily have been a couple goals behind going into the second and it’s a different game. He did a great job keeping us in there.”

"He's unreal every game," Namestnikov said. "He was solid back there again,and he's a big reason why we won again."

gourde

Yanni Gourde scored his 17th goal./STEVEN MUNCIE

It was the third straight win by the Bolts after a mid-season slump.

"We like where we are in the standings," Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman said. "We've been in a tough stretch and we haven't really found our game. But we're getting back to it. If you take out that first period tonight, we did a lot of good things the last 40."

Tampa Bay got off only three shots in the first period.

“Our starts, we’ve got to do something about our starts," said Lighting coach Jon

Callahan scored his second of the year./CARMEN MANDATO

Callahan scored his second goal of the year./CARMEN MANDATO

Cooper. "We struggled in Nashville at the start, struggled tonight at the start, but both occasions our goaltender stood tall for us until we got our legs. We made a push in the second, and it was enough.”

Ryan Callahan scored only his second goal, and his first since October.

“The bench?" Cooper repeated. "I don’t know, what was everybody in the building like? Whether you’re a fan of us or not, that was a really nice hockey play. That was a big goal. That was the one that probably took the wind out of their sails, 2-0 game and late in the second period.

“Cally does a lot of different things we like. We talk about his goal, let’s talk about his blocked shot on the power play before that. Everybody wants to score. Some guys do it more than others, but he plays a really, really important role on our team and for him to be able to score that goal, he’s a popular teammate. It lifted him up. It lifted our team up. It was great.”

Said Namestnikov: "That was a sick goal. We’ve seen Cally do that before. It’s nice to see him get that monkey off his back and get that goal for us.”

Point and Gourde got the Lightning off to a good start./CARMEN MANDATO

Point and Gourde got the Lightning off to a good start./CARMEN MANDATO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yanni Gourde after losing his helmet./STEVEN MUNCIE

Yanni Gourde after losing his helmet./STEVEN MUNCIE

Share with:Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: