Vasilevskiy stops 32 shots, Lightning beat Flyers 3-0
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tampa Bay’s goaltending tandem of Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy is doing its best to help the Lightning make up for the loss of Steven Stamkos.
Vasilevskiy made 32 saves for his second consecutive shutout, leading Tampa Bay to a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin scored for the Lightning, who have won four in a row to improve to 12-6-1.
Stamkos got hurt in the first period of a 4-3 win at Detroit on Tuesday. The team announced Thursday that he had a torn ligament in his right knee, shelving the star center for four months.
Bishop then stopped 32 shots in a 4-1 victory at Buffalo on Thursday night, and Vasilevskiy stepped up against Philadelphia. He also earned a shutout in his last appearance, stopping 24 shots in a 4-0 win over the New York Islanders on Monday night.
“He’s locked in,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Vasilevskiy. “He’s in command. Guys are coming down against him and they’re almost deflated because he’s in that much command of what’s going on. He’s tracking every puck and when stuff gets a little scrambly he’s the calm in the storm and he’s swallowing pucks.”
The Flyers (8-8-3) lost in regulation for the first time since Nov. 11, ending a 2-0-1 streak. They went 0 for 5 on the power play.
“We were not good,” Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek said. “Sometimes you get the bounces that you don’t get in the other games. Sometimes the power play isn’t working your way but you still get the shots through and some lucky tips. We just have to make sure we keep working on it.”
Drouin’s goal capped a tough game for the forward, who missed seven straight games with an injury and left for a brief stretch after taking a check to the head.
He got a long stretch pass from Palat and beat Steve Mason for his third of the season at 4:26 of the third.
“We made a couple of errors there,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “But he made a heck of a play and finished it with a good, strong drive to the net.”
The Lightning were outshot 12-6 in the first period, but grabbed a 1-0 lead on Johnson’s sixth of the season. Alex Killorn slid a pass to Johnson for a tap-in on the power play at 14:25.
Palat made it 2-0 in the second, weaving through the slot and snapping a shot past Mason for his third of the season.
Mason finished with 15 saves.
Cooper said the Lightning need to keep getting solid team efforts if they hope to keep winning without Stamkos.
“The problem is it happened to somebody that was playing as good as we’ve ever seen him play in his career and he’s our captain,” Cooper said. “But these things happen in the game and we’ve got to push on and we’ve been doing that.”
NOTES: The Lightning lost Drouin in the first period and LW Ryan Callahan in the second, but both players returned from their injuries. ... LW Brian Boyle sat out with an upper-body injury, leaving the Lightning with 11 healthy forwards and seven defensemen. D Anton Stralman (upper-body injury) also sat out. ... Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere returned after he was a healthy scratch Thursday night against Winnipeg. D Andrew MacDonald sat in his place.
Flyers: Visit the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
Lightning: Visit the Nashville Predators on Monday night.