Vasilevski, Andrei

NHL Game Night: 12-31-14 Lightning at Sabres

Lightning open a Third Period can of beat down.

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BUF-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 11 shots (not a typo) for the victory. He made a handful of key saves while the game was tight and the only goal he did allow was a point shot that deflected off of Hedman's stick and took a crazy bounce in on net.

First Period
7:48 TB Carle (4), (Palat)
12:33 BUF Ennis (9), (Zadorov, Moulson)(PP)

Second Period
19:02 TB Palat (9), (Johnson, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
5:20 TB Connolly (7), (Stralman, Palat)
8:40 TB Kucherov (16), (Johnson, Stralman)
18:05 TB Kucherov (17), (Palat, Johnson)

Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars.

The Lightning, for about 30 minutes, didn't look like they wanted to be in Buffalo (well, yeah). In the Third Period, they outshot Buffalo 14-1 and absolutely dismantled the young Sabres. It was a clinic put on by the triplets line to put 2014 to bed the right way.

Now, here's the interesting part: the Lightning now have 11 points in this 10-game segment of the season with 1 more game to play. Despite all their struggles this month, they may still hit 12 points over this 10-game stretch, and at a minimum, they'll have 4 insurance points heading into the second half of the campaign. Nice.

Cedric Paquette had 3 hits and 1 blocked shot and was 40% on draws in 17:00 of ice time. He had the hit of the game smoking Josh Gorges after a failed breakaway by Steven Stamkos.

Jonathan Drouin had 1 shot in 14:08.

Nikita Nesterov was +1 in 15:02 in his NHL debut. He made a key play breaking up a 2-on-1 that nearly resulted in a goal at the other end when Stamkos hit a crossbar. In all, he wasn't noticeable, but that's a positive for a rookie d-man.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 12-28-14 Crunch at Falcons

The beasts of the Northeast square off.

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SPR-3 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the loss.

First Period
SPR Adam, (10) (Labrie, Tyrell), 0:39
SYR Namestnikov, (6) (Mormina, Smith), 14:48

Second Period
SYR Angelidis, (12) (Gourde, Marchessault), 17:32
SPR Adam, (11) (Sifers, St. Denis), 18:17

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
SPR Urban, (2) (Madaisky, Adam), 3:10 (PP)

Mike Angelidis was the game's third star.

Springfield now holds a 2 point lead on Syracuse in the Northeast Division after the victory. Syracuse does, however, hold a game in hand on the Falcons.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-26-14 Devils at Crunch

Crunch make it 10 in a row.

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SYR-3 (OT)

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the OT victory. He made some key saves that allowed the Crunch to keep contact and tie the game up late in the Third Period.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
ALB Burlon, (3) (Whitney), 4:52
SYR Blunden, (6) (Cote, Blujus), 13:00

Third Period
ALB Boucher, (8) (Whitney, Faust), 1:27
SYR Mormina, (1) (Marchessault), 18:33

Overtime
SYR Namestnikov, (5) (Marchessault), 4:16

Vladislav Namestnikov and Joey Mormina were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse keeps pace in the Eastern Conference, 1 point back of Manchester for the top spot.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-23-14 Penguins at Lightning

Christmas done Triplets style.

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TB-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the victory. Tonight was light work until Third Period garbage time, which was a welcome relief after the volume of shots/chances he faced on Long Island.

First Period
6:54 TB Johnson (11), (Kucherov, Palat)
19:56 TB Johnson (12), (Palat, Hedman)

Second Period
0:52 TB Kucherov (14), (Carle, Filppula)
2:37 TB Johnson (13), (Kucherov, Palat)
10:15 PIT Hornqvist (13), (Klinkhammer)

Third Period
9:55 PIT Kunitz (10), (Malkin)
18:29 PIT Letang (8), (Hornqvist, Malkin)

Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat were the game's three stars. Like Jon Cooper's top line reindeer bringing a sleigh full of winning.

This was a very important win for a number of reasons. One, it showed the thing that happened on Long Island was an aberration. Two, it allows the team to feel good headed into the Winter Break and they can start after the break with a pretty fresh slate. Third, it helped them bury the long losing streak they've had against Pittsburgh, which is a team they'll likely see over the next few years as a playoff adversary. True, the Pens were depleted. True the Pens were tired. I'm not under any delusions that the Lightning bested the Penguins' most fearsome lineup tonight. But, it's something positive to build on, and they did have Crosby, Malkin, and (for a little while) Fleury on the rink.

When the Lightning come back from break, the first 5 things they need to work on are: power play, power play, power play, power play, and power play. It's bad right now. Absolutely terrible. Time for the coaching staff to take some egg nog down into Cooper's laboratory and white board something fresh, because what they're doing right now is an atrocity masquerading as a travesty.

With 4 games to go in this 10-game segment, the Lightning sit 7 points shy of the 12 they would want per segment, but just 2 points shy of the spot they need to be at the end of the 4th segment (48 points) thanks to the insurance points they've squirreled away. 7 out of 8 possible points is tough, but you'd like to see the Lightning get at least 5 or 6 out the 8 possible points so they don't burn off too much of what they have in the bank in case another rainy day pops up.

Cedric Paquette had 1 shot and 2 hits in 13:29. I thought he played his role really well tonight.

Jonathan Drouin was -2 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 13:04. I'm not a huge fan of the Drouin/Stamkos/Connolly combination that was put together by Cooper tonight, because I'm not sure I see a lot of puck retrieval on that line unless Stammer does it.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-16-14 Lightning at Flyers

Vasilevskiy plays the role of the slump slayer.

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PHI-1

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 24 shots for the victory in his first NHL start.

First Period
19:19 PHI Simmonds (14), (Streit, Giroux)(PP)

Second Period
1:50 TB Stamkos (18), (Drouin, Callahan)
6:34 TB Johnson (10), (Callahan, Kucherov)

Third Period
19:18 TB Filppula (6), (Paquette, Johnson)(EN)

Ryan Callahan and Vasilevskiy were the game's first and third stars. The night offered Lightning fans a brief slice of the future, with Vasilevskiy in net and Jonathan Drouin playing on the top line with Stamkos. Both had important hands in the outcome of the game, with a cameo appearance by young Cedric Paquette on the EN goal to seal the game.

Paquette had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot. He was also 67% on draws.

Drouin had a helper and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 blocked shot in 17:28. If I have a critique of Drouin, it's that I'd like to see him look to shoot a little more and generate some offense that way, too. I hope he stays on that line with Stamkos from here on out.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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