Vasilevskiy gets another shutout victory

by Gary Shelton on December 24, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Vasilevskiy was cool in a shutout./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Vasilevskiy was cool in a shutout./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Sunday, 2 a.m.

It took a while before the Tampa Bay Lightning found the net Saturday night.

That's okay. Andrei Vasilevskiy was willling to wait.

Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots to record  his fourth shutout of the year against the Minnesota Wild, and the Bolts scored late three times to win 3-0. The Bolts' record swelled to 26-7-2 with the victory.

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Kucherov scored on an empty-netter./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Kucherov scored on an empty-netter./ANDREW J. KRAMER

It was the league-leading 23rd win for Vasilevski. For his career, Vasilevskiy now has eight shutouts.

The Lightning now has won nine of its last 10 games.

The teams battled without a goal for 57 minutes and 18 seconds until Dan Girardi scored, redirecting Braydon Point's pas. Tyler Johnson scored 52 seconds later, and Nikita Kucherov added an empty net goal with 53 seconds to play.  The three Lightning goals came within 1:49.

It was Girardi’s second goal of the season.

“Dan is kind of playing a similar role he played in New York with us, but we want our guys to be able to jump into holes, regardless of who you are,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “And I don’t know if it’s natural for him all the time to do that, but he is a bright player and I think he was outstanding tonight all over the ice, especially on the penalty kill.”

Said Steven Stamkos: “He’s got an unbelievable personality and obviously a lot of experience in this league and he brings that to this room which is much needed and much appreciated. He’s been playing extremely well for us, so it’s good to see him get rewarded.”

Vasilevskiy tied John Grahame for fourth on the team’s shutout list.

“We’re just playing for each other,” Vasilevskiy said. “Guys are playing really well in front and they’re just fearless and have good execution. It was a shutout for our team, and we deserve it tonight.”

The Bolts killed six penalties.

“It was good,” Vasilevskiy said. “It wasn’t good in Las Vegas, we gave up four. It’s a good move from our coaches to do more PK stuff, and you saw tonight it worked.”

The Bolts are off until Thursday when Montreal comes to town.  The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m.


Hedman has been solid for the Bolts all season./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Hedman has been solid for the Bolts all season./ANDREW J. KRAMER

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