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Vasilevskiy wins 12th straight as Bolts drop Stars

Following their thrilling win over the Florida Panthers on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Lightning headed back to Dallas for a matchup with the Stars on Tuesday. The two clubs last met just a week ago in a 4-3 Tampa Bay victory. Entering Tuesday, the Lightning had won all 3 meetings with Dallas this season. Starting a three game road trip, the Lightning sat atop the league standings with 48 points and a record of 23-6-2. Bolts’ goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was also seeking his franchise record 12th consecutive victory.


Stars break through on early power play

Defenseman Ryan McDonagh was ruled out after exiting Sunday’s game with an injury. A key penalty killer, the Lightning felt his absence early in this game. At 3:33, Erik Cernak took a tripping penalty and the Stars went on the game’s first power play. Roope Hintz tucked a backhand attempt past Andrei Vasilevskiy to get Dallas on the board. Cal Foote, filling in for McDonagh, was caught out of position allowing Hintz an unobstructed path to the net.

Play continued at a back and forth pace throughout the opening period. The Lightning had their share of offensive zone time, but fell victim to repetitive blocked shots by the Stars. Surprisingly, the best chance Tampa Bay had in the period came from Andreas Borgman, but he fired a shot just wide of the net after entering the Stars zone in space.

The opening seconds of the second period left Lightning fans holding their collective breath. Mikhail Sergachev took a puck to the face off the stick of Andrei Vasilevskiy and immediately went down on the ice. Sergachev skated off on his own but headed to the locker room with visible blood in his nose area. Thankfully, Sergachev was patched up and returned to action later in the period.

Stamkos ties it up

The Lightning power play went to work at 4:40 of the second period thanks to a tripping call on Jamie Oleksiak. Tampa Bay could only muster up a single Steven Stamkos shot and came up empty handed. However, it did not take long for the league’s second ranked power play unit to get another crack at it. This time, Dallas’ other Jamie, captain Benn, committed a hold on Andreas Borgman. Stamkos refused to be denied a second time, cashing in from his usual left circle office (with an assist to a deflection from Andrej Sekera),

Stamkos’ team leading 16th goal of the season was also his 9th power play goal. 4 minutes later, Yanni Gourde put the Lightning in front with an unassisted effort. Gourde sped into the zone to pounce on a loose puck and after his initial shot was blocked by John Klingberg, his second attempt beat Anton Khudobin for the score. Gourde has now scored goals in 4 consecutive games. In a dominant period for the Lightning, the stars only managed to get 1 shot on goal. Tampa Bay led in shots 19-7 through 2 periods and held a 2-1 lead.

Penalty kill shines and Vasilevskiy shuts the door

The Stars came into the game’s final period with more energy and a commitment to putting more pucks on the net. While Vasilevskiy was virtually untested, the Tampa Bay penalty killed was called upon to come through in a big way. With Mikhail Sergachev already in the box for interference, Blake Coleman took a hooking penalty putting the Bolts down 2 men for an extended 5 on 3 chance. The penalty killers answered the bell and kept the Stars off the scoreboard.

With 1:40 to go in the game, Dallas pulled Anton Khudobin for the extra attacker. With a few key saves, Andrei Vasilevskiy shut the door to preserve his place in Lightning history. Vasilevskiy now holds the franchise record for most consecutive wins with 12. His record of 21-3-1 has him receiving notice for another potential Vezina trophy win.

Next up, these same 2 teams will meet Thursday night again at 8:30PM EDT.

3 stars:

  1. Andrei Vasilevskiy – He did not need to do much tonight but has won his last 12 starts
  2. Yanni Gourde – Goals in 4 straight games
  3. Steven Stamkos – Continues to be hot on the power play


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