Vasilevskiy shines in Lightning victory

by Gary Shelton on November 18, 2022

in general

Vasilevskiy had 39 saves./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

There for a while, the Cat wasn't so Big.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, by his standards, by anyone's, was scuffling. He was 5-5-1 on the season. He was 45th among league goaltenders in goals against. He was 49th in save percentage.

For a guy who had won 234 career games, it felt wrong.

On Thursday night, at least for a game, Vasilevskiy was back.

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Kucherov scored two goals./TIM WIRT

Vasilevskiy stopped 39 shots against the Calgary Flames in a 4-1 victory by the Tampa Bay Lightning. For a night, Vasilevskiy was once again a wall who made the rest of his team feel secure.

The Flames outshot the Bolts 40-24, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper says that can be misleading.

“I’ll take the chances we had over the ones they had," Cooper said. "Shot volume is shot volume, and they're getting pucks to the net. But if your goalie is seeing them and they're from the outside, it's limiting what happens after that. I thought we did a good job with that."

Cooper said he knew things would change for Vasilevskiy.

“At some point, that had to turn for us," Cooper said. "We’ve gotten in our own way on a lot of those (goals). Tonight, we didn’t give up the bad one where our goalie has no chance and we were the reason it happened. We made them earn their breaks. If you hold teams to one goal, you’re giving yourself a chance.

The Bolts got two goals from Nikita Kucherov, who has a goal in nine of his last 11 games. They also had goals from Steven Stamkos and Phillippe Myers.

The Bolts are in Nashville on Saturday to face the Predators at 8 p.m.

Myers scored his second goal./TIM WIRT

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