Vasilevskiy snuffs Dallas Stars once again

by Gary Shelton on April 30, 2021

in general

Vasilevskiy leads the NHL with 30 victories./TIM WIRT

Friday, 3:30 a.m.

The closer the NHL playoffs get, the more ready for them that the Tampa Bay Lightning seem.

The Bolts, trying to prepare for a run to defend the Stanley Cup, won their fourth straight game Thursday night, beating Dallas (last year's victim in the Cup Finals) by a score of 3-0.

It was the third time this season that goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has shut off the Stars. Overall, he has five shutouts on the Eason and 26 for his career. Vasilevskiy leads the NHL with 30 victories.

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 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

"It’s tough to really say this is the best I’ve seen him," said defenseman Ryan McDonagh. "He was petty incredible in that playoff run. I think he's just more aware of what he needs to do to be at the top level. He’s been so consistent this year. He’s mentally tough. He doesn’t let bad bounces affect him and rile him up. He knows what he needs to do in practice every da. He takes good care of himself so he can play, He wants to play every game we play. I think he understands what he needs to do to get sharp. He’s paying an an unbelievable high level."

The Bolts got an opening period goal from Ondrej Palat. In the third period, Blake Coleman scored on the first penalty shot of his career. Brayden Point added an empty netter.

The Lighting has five regular season games left, but the playoffs are really on the minds of the players.

"I think we’re a pretty determined group that takes a lot of pride in being strong in all areas of the ice," McDonagh said. "Anyone would say we still have room to improve. We know in the playoffs, you have to be sharp in every situations. "

Said Coleman: "The third period was champions' hockey.  Guys were committed to blocking shots. Guys were paying the price physically. That’s the kind of hockey we need going into the playoffs. This was a good step in the right direction. If we keep playing that way, we’re going to be a hard team to beat. 

"We’re starting to feel the excitement that playoff hockey is around the corner. You don’t want to be fine -uning your game when they get there. You want to be ready to rock.

The Bolts had a good night blocking shots

"That’s kind of playoff hockey where that stuff happens all the time," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We were playing a desperate team tonight. We’re not sure where we’re going to land so we keep pressing forward."

The Bolts now travel to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Previous post:

Next post: