Bolts batter defending champion Avs

by Gary Shelton on February 10, 2023

in general

Vasilevskiy had his first shutout of the year./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

The shame of it is that the NHL still won't rewind the clock to last season's Stanley Cup finals.

Still, considering the week that the Tampa Bay Lightning has had, this will have to do.

The Bolts played one of their crispest games of the year Thursday night, beating the Avalanche 5-0 at Amalie Arena. It was the Avs who ended the Bucs' season a year ago, winning a six-game series in the Cup finals.

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Hagel scored two goals./TIM WIRT

For the Bolts, however, it was more important to end a two-game walkabout that began when the all-star break ended. The Bolts gave up 11 goals in two games, including a home ice loss to San Jose in overtime.

This was better. The Bolts were focused and crisp.

Chief in the turnaround was goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had given up seven goals (to Florida) in his previous start. This time, he shut out the Avs on 30 shots for the 29th shutout of his career.

Vasilevskiy has faced 30 shots or more in five of his last six games.

The Bolts got two goals from Brandon Hagel. They got one each from Corey Perry, Brayden Point and Michael Sergachev.

Two of the Bolts' goals came off the slumping power play.

The Bolts play again Saturday afternoon (1 p.m.) in Dallas.

Point scored his 32nd goal./TIM WIRT

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