Tampa Bay Sports Day

NHL: Tampa Bay Records Season’s First Shut Out

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves to record his first shutout of the season as the Lightning blanked the Avalanche 1-0 in Denver on Wednesday night.

After more than 45 minutes of scoreless hockey, Nikita Kucherov finally broke the deadlock with a power play goal midway through the third period.

In the first two stops of the trip in Minnesota and Chicago, the Lightning got off to fast starts. On Wednesday, however, it was the Bolts who had to withstand early pressure from the Avalanche.

Tampa Bay was outshot 11-4 in the opening period and leaned heavily on Vasilevskiy to keep the game scoreless. Gabriel Landeskog nearly opened the scoring for the Avalanche nine minutes in, but the goal was waved off after a video review revealed that Tyson Jost had been offsides on the play.

Arguably, Vasilevskiy’s best save came less than a minute into the third period, as he robbed Landeskog front point blank range. The Avalanche forced a turnover behind the Lightning net and found Landeskog wide open in the slot but Vasilevskiy just got enough of the shot with his glove to steer the puck wide.

Six minutes later, Nikita Kucherov scored what would go on to be the game-winner. As a Lighting power play wound down, Steven Stamkos fed Kucherov at the top of the circle who wired a one-timed shot past Semyon Varlamov to put Tampa Bay in front. The goal was the 150th of Kucherov’s career.

The Lightning’s special teams once again stepped up. The Bolts were a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill, while the power play produced the game’s lone goal, going 1-for-3 on the night.

The Lightning have now collected points in six straight games and continue their road trip with a matchup vs. the Golden Knights on Friday evening.