Big Cat shines in goal one more time

by Gary Shelton on May 6, 2021

in general

Vasilevskiy has won 190 games in the NHL/CHUCK MULLER

Thursday, 3 a.m.

How long do you have to look at the best sunsets on earth before you shrug and take it for granted?

How long before you shrug at an impressive mountain range, or yawn at the expanse of the ocean? How long before you ignore. a great piece of art?

For the Lightning, that’s kind of the way it is with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

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He’s still in net, and he’s still solid, and he’s still the backbone of the Lightning team.. But more and more, it seems like the Bolts seem to take him for granted. Yeah, he was a great yesterday, but he’ll be great again tomorrow. Big deal. 

Vasilevskiy played his 300th game for the Lighting, and he won his 190th. Included in that haul is a league-leading 31 games this season. The latest of those was a 6-2 victory over Dallas at Amalie Arena.

"They’re on life-support regarding the playoffs,” Cooper said of Dallas. “They’re a proud team. They came out and pushed in the third period.”

Vasilevskiy stopped 20 of 22 shots to turn back the Stars for the sixth time this season.

The Bolts, who play only three more times before the playoffs, are now tied for second in the NHL Central Davison race with Florida. Two of the team’s final three games are against the Panthers.

The Bolts broke open a 3-2 game in the last 10 minutes of play, scoring on Erik Cernak’s goal and then notching a pair of empty-netters by Ross Colton and Mikhail Sergachev.

The Bolts had scored earlier on goals by Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn and Brayden Point.

The goal by Johnson was his first in 22 games. Killorn said the team was pulling for him.

“I was hoping he'd get that empty-netter at the end, too,” Killorn said. “It’s always good  for a guy’s confidence to score goals. He’s such a great shooter when he gets into the slot.”

The Bolts play against Dallas on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Amalie Arena before closing out the regular season with games Saturday and Monday at the Panthers.

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