Vasilevskiy shines in return, Lightning beat Maple Leafs 4-1

Combined Shape

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy delivered a record-setting performance after sitting out a month.

Tampa Bay’s goalie made a career-high 48 saves in his return from a broken left foot and the Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night in a matchup of the NHL’s top two teams.

“Actually (felt) pretty good,” Vasilevskiy said. “Tried to survive the first period, then the second, too.”

Vasilevskiy tied the team record for saves in a game established by Ben Bishop against Carolina on Jan. 19, 2014.

“He was the best player on the ice for us by a country mile,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Trending:
New York AG: CNN, MSNBC Parent Companies Funded Millions of Phony Comments to Sway Trump Administration

Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson both scored for Tampa Bay during the final 36 seconds of the second period to make it 4-1. Vasilevskiy, who missed the previous 14 games, stopped all 23 shots he faced in the period.

“That was a pretty good test for us,” Vasilevskiy said. “Guys scored important goals at the end of the second.”

Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov also had goals for the Lightning (25-7-1), who have won eight in a row and lead Toronto by eight points in the Atlantic Division. The franchise record is a nine-game winning streak in 2016.

Tampa Bay scored three times on 12 shots in the second. Killorn put home a backhand with 35.8 seconds left, and Johnson converted from the slot with 1.7 seconds to go.

Toronto got a goal from Kasperi Kapanen, and Frederik Andersen stopped 17 shots. The Maple Leafs have lost three of four (1-2-1) after a five-game winning streak.

The Leafs went 0 for 6 on the power play.

“We did everything but put the puck in the back of the net,” Toronto center John Tavares said. “I don’t think you want to hang your head. I think you’re obviously disappointed in the result. We have high expectations for ourselves. It’s a long season. We’ll see these guys again.”

Vasilevskiy got his glove on Patrick Marleau’s point-blank chance and then trapped the loose puck with his pad early in the third.

The Maple Leafs hit the crossbar or post three times in the first and Vasilevskiy made a left pad save on Tavares’ in-close backhand late in the period.

Related:
Fresh Off Losing a House Seat, California Reports Population Decline for the First Time Ever

Nazem Kadri had a nifty deflection stopped by Vasilevskiy and also hit the post during a power play midway through the second.

“He played unbelievable,” Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews said. “I thought we played well. We had a ton of chances. I think sometimes you’ve just got to tip your hat and move forward.”

Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead on Kucherov’s power-play goal at 5:31 of the second that required a video review. A no-goal call on the ice was overturned when officials determined Andersen’s glove save came behind the goal line.

Kucherov also had an assist and has six goals and 29 points over the last 15 games.

Kapanen put the Maple Leafs up 1-0 after stealing an errant pass into the slot by Kucherov 5:26 into the game.

Cirelli tied it on his third short-handed goal at 8:20 of the first.

NOTES: Mitchell Marner (seven), Tavares (six) and Kadri (six) combined for 19 shots. … Toronto (15-1-1) lost for the first time in regulation when scoring first. … Marleau played in his 738th consecutive regular-season game and passed Jay Bouwmeester for the seventh-longest streak in NHL history. … Toronto LW Zach Hyman served the second of a two-game suspension for a hit on Boston D Charlie McAvoy on Saturday. … Tampa Bay RW Mathieu Joseph sat out with a lower-body injury.

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Play at Florida on Saturday.

Lightning: Start a four-game trip Sunday in Winnipeg.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation