Vasilevskiy shines as Bolts beat Carolina

by Gary Shelton on January 1, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Vasilevskiy has settled in as the Lightning goalie./ANDREW KRAMER

Vasilevskiy has settled in as the Lightning goalie./ANDREW KRAMER

Sunday, 3 a.m.

Every day, it becomes his net.

Every game, it becomes his team.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is taller, and wider, in net these days for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is more and more comfortable behind his teammates, which means the opposing team is less and less comfortable. Behind Vasilevskiy, the Bolts have taken nine of their last 12 possible points.

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Boyle has become a dependable scorer for Bolts./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Boyle has become a dependable scorer for Bolts./ANDREW J. KRAMER

“I think there a point where (Ben Bishop) went down where he might have been feeling the weight of the world on him, that he had to carry the team,” said Lighting coach John Cooper. “That's not true. We have to carry the team, and he has to bail us out when he

Johnson approaches on a breakaway ./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Johnson approaches on a breakaway ./ANDREW J. KRAMER

can. Just worry about being yourself in the net. He was putting a lot of pressure on himself. He's settling into his role now.

“He might be hard on himself when he gets a shutout. He wants to win, and he wants to do well. That's why he's the goalie he is. That's the competitor in him.”
Vasilevskiy bailed out the Bolts Saturday night after Cooper admitted the team took its foot off the pedal after taking a rare 3-0 lead against Carolina. Power play goals from Brian Boyle and Jonathan Drouin gave the team a 2-0 lead, and Alex Killorn contributed the third. Vasilevskiy stopped 26 of 27 shots.

The Bolts play Winnipeg Tuesday night.

Drouin scored a first period goal on the power play./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Drouin scored a first period goal on the power play./ANDREW J. KRAMER

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