Vasilevskiy on prowl for Bolts again

by Gary Shelton on April 2, 2023

in general

Vasilevskiy has two shutouts in three games./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the playoffs, again, perhaps you are looking for reasons that they might make some noise there.

Let's count the reasons.

-- There is Brayden Point, who scored his 48th goal.

-- There is Steven Stamkos, who scored his 33rd.

-- There is Nikita Kucherov, who scored his 29th and now has 106 points.

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

Point is two goals from 50./TIM WIRT

Yeah, the stars were at it again for the Bolts in a 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders. But if you're honest, the key performer for the Bolts, as always, will be goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Vasilevskiy shut out an opponent for the second time in three games (and his fourth this season). He turned away 37 shots. In the last four games, he's faced 134 shots and stopped 131 of them.

It has been a tough season for Vasileveskiy . Yes, he has won more than 30 games for the sixth straight season, but he also has lost 20 for the first time.

Lately, however, he seems playoff-ready.

Of course, much of his success has been the defense in front of him. The Bolts have allowed just one goal in their last three games.

That has led them to the playoffs again. It's the sixth straight season Tampa Bay has made the post-season.

"You have no chance to win the Stanley Cup unless you make the playoffs," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We don't talk about (winning Cups. It's about getting in the playoffs.

"In a league where parity is pushed, the fact this group keeps finding ways to get in is really remarkable. The goal is to win Stanley Cups and you can’t do it unless you punch your ticket."

The Bolts also got goals from Mikhail Sergachev and Taylor Jeannot. For Jeannot, it was his first goal as a member of the Bolts.

The Lightning play again Wednesday night in New York against the Rangers. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Jeannot scored his first goal as a Bolt./TIM WIRT

Previous post:

Next post: