Lightning’s Vasilevskiy rebounds against Habs

by Gary Shelton on March 6, 2020

in general

Vasilevskiy had his third shutout of the season./CHUCK MULLER

Friday, 4 a.m.

In the ebb and flow of a hockey season, he has dared to ebb.

He has been mortal. Vulnerable. Spotty. He leads the league in victories by a goaltender, but not many of them have come lately.

For the Tampa Bay Lightning, then, perhaps the best sight of all in Thursday night's 4-0 victory over Montreal was the play of Andrei Vasilevskiy.

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Hedman scored two goals in victory over Montreal./CHUCK MULLER

Vasilevskiy stopped all 32 shots and posted his third shutout of the season, a relic since he had lost four of his previous five starts and had given up 21 goals. It was the 21st shutout of the 25-year-old's career.

"It was very good," Vasilevsiy said. "I didn't play that well the last few games. It's a pretty good feeling to get a shutout. We played well defensively."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper didn't seem elated, however.

Sergachev watches the replay of his fight with Shea Weber./CHUCK MULLER

"It was two points and that's the only way I'm going to look at it," Cooper said. "It's another win for us. We're not going to think too much about this one. You have to munch points when you can."

The Lightning's Pat Maroon, however, suggested that he Lightning eased off in the third period. "We've got to play 60-minute games," he said.

Victor Hedman scored two goals for the Lightning. Alex Killorn added his 25th and Nikita Kucherov his 32nd.

Killorn scored his 25th goal of the season./ CHUCK MULLER

"I've walked out of the arena many times and thought we deserved points but didn't get any," Cooper said. "I thought we deserved points. Was it a perfect game? It was not. ‘’

The Lightning faces another game against the Boston Bruins, who just beat the Lighting 2-1, on Saturday in Boston (7 p.m.)

"It's good to play these games down the stretch," said Cooper. "They're an exceptional team, but we felt we left a little on the table the other night. It'll be interesting to see how we respond."

Cernak is all smiles after the win./CHUCK MULLER

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