Vasilevski, Andrei

NHL Game Night: 10-29-16 Lightning at Devils

Frustrating performance leaves first segment of the season in state of doubt.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 23 shots for the loss. The goals he allowed were not necessarily soft goals, and he made one or two really dazzling ones late in the game, but it wasn't good enough to make the game competitive on a night where the offense was struggling.

First Period
3:57 NJ Henrique (2), (Severson, Cammalleri)
13:13 NJ Severson (1), (Henrique, Greene)

Second Period
5:22 NJ Smith-Pelly (1), (Lappin, Quincey)

Third Period
1:59 TB Johnson (2), (Point)

Just a frustrating night for the Lightning, which may have carried the balance of play throughout the game in outshooting New Jersey 33-23. But, New Jersey was opportunistic capitalizing on mistakes early to throw Tampa Bay into a hole, and without Kucherov in the lineup the Lightning didn't seem to have the offensive dynamism to crawl out. Also, if we're being honest, the Lightning played one of their all-too antiseptic games where they didn't create enough traffic and get in front of the goaltender's eyes enough to make it hard on a netminder as strong as Schneider. They were just a little too easy to play against tonight. Against a team like New Jersey, you do yourself a big disservice by not finding a greasy goal or two in those high traffic areas, and that building in particular is not one you want to fall in a hole in and then play a white gloves kind of style.

Heading into the final 2 games of this opening 10 game segment of the season, the Lightning need 2 more points, at least, to stay on playoff pace. That looked like a lock heading into the Montreal game, but it's looking a little dicey now. Hopefully Ben Bishop will have a performance tomorrow that will be the slump snapper. The Lightning need it.

Brayden Point had a beautiful helper and 3 shots in 16:50. His assist was so good he got Tyler Johnson off the side of the milk carton. I just hope he gets to collect the reward for finding a missing person like that.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-22-16 Lightning at Senators

Determined Lightning outclass Ottawa.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory. He had next to no work for the first half of this game, so when Ottawa made their push toward the end of the Second Period he looked a little shaky, particularly on his rebound control. He collected himself and made some key saves at the start of the Third Period to keep the Sens at bay and eventually allow the Lightning to cruise to the win.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
2:36 TB Namestnikov (1), (Palat, Stralman)
6:45 TB Stamkos (3), (Namestnikov, Kucherov)(PP)
15:27 OTT Neil (1), (unassisted)

Third Period
8:02 TB Killorn (4), (Filppula, Garrison)
18:03 TB Filppula (3), (Point)

Vladislav Namestnikov and Valtteri Filppula were the game's first and third stars.

The Lightning showed me something tonight after a bit of a clunker last time out against Colorado. They came into this game... maybe not grumpy... but certainly determined to get the bad taste of that match out of their mouths. They completely dominated the First Period and most of the Second Period to build a 2-0 lead. In the future, you'd hope they'd build up that 3-0 lead to make things easy on themselves, but they did give Ottawa a couple of power plays that allowed the Senators to build some momentum and make a game of it cutting the lead to 2-1. The Lightning showed composure, though, and eventually reasserted their dominance and eventually turned the game into a laugher.

Side note: Stamkos' power play goal was a textbook example of what I was clamoring for last season and what Washington does so well: create a pressure point with Kucherov and Namestinkov on the opposite side of the ice from Stamkos' circle, and allow Steve to drift to the open spots/seams for easy goals away from the play. That's how you make this power play unstoppable if you don't have a quality righty point man who scares people.

Halfway through the opening 10 game segment of the season, Tampa Bay has a brisk 8 points. They need just 4 over the next 5 games to stay on minimum playoff pace. When you get off to a hot start like this, though, it's a perfect opportunity to put the hammer down and bank some insurance points to cover any potential bumps in the road as the season drags on.

Brayden Point had a helper and was +2 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 14:35.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-15-16 Devils at Lightning

Lightning overcome another sluggish start to advance to 2-0-0.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 34 shots for the victory. Both goals allowed were redirections, and he showed a lot of maturity after getting down on a couple of quick early goals. The really good ones shut the door the rest of the way when they get in that situation, and that's what Andrei did tonight. He was strong on his angles and wasn't giving New Jersey anything to shoot at and his rebound control was strong, as well. It was a really solid season debut.

First Period
0:52 NJ Palmieri (1), (Moore)
4:26 NJ Zajac (1), (Parenteau)

Second Period
7:53 TB Stamkos (1), (Palat, Drouin)
10:07 TB Killorn (1), (Kucherov, Johnson)

Third Period
5:43 TB Filppula (2), (Garrison, Point)

Valtteri Filppula, Steven Stamkos, and Alex Killorn were the game's three stars. I think Vasiy got a little robbed.

Glass half full: Yet another resilient effort where the Lightning stayed the course, got it together, and eventually pulled off the win. The Lightning got goals from three different lines tonight and they have nine goals from eight different goal scorers so far this season. Balance is a good thing. And, as mentioned, Vasilveskiy was solid.

Glass half empty: Spotting opponents two goal leads to start the game isn't sustainable. I think the Lightning, psychologically, come out a little too comfortable in these home games with the attitude that, because of their talent, it'll be more of a coronation than a contest. They haven't paid the price for it thus far this year, but eventually they will. Bottom line, hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

Two games down, four points earned. The Lightning need at least eight points in the next eight games to establish postseason pace.

Brayden Point had a helper, his first NHL point, and was +1 with 5 shots and 1 hit in 15:09. He keeps putting 5 on net every night and he'll have that first NHL goal soon, too.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Preseason Game Night: 10-8-16 Predators at Lightning

Lightning concludes the preseason with an offensive outburst.

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Ben Bishop allowed 2 goals on 16 shots before giving way to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed 1 on 8 the rest of the way for the win.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
7:29 NSH Smith (1), (Bitetto, Granberg)
9:59 TB Nesterov (1), (Point, Drouin)(PP)
13:27 NSH Smith (2), (Subban)
16:18 TB Point (1), (Stamkos, Nesterov)

Third Period
2:32 TB Drouin (1), (Stamkos, Palat)
6:43 TB Johnson (1), (Stralman, Stamkos)(PP)
13:12 TB Palat (1), (Drouin)
13:20 NSH Wilson (1), (Gaudreau)

Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point were the game's first and second stars. Point continues to produce in an extended look which may continue on into the regular season thanks to Nikita Kucherov's ongoing contractual impasse.

Point had 1 goal and 1 assist with 3 shots in 13:58 of ice time.

Joel Vermin was -1 with 1 shot in 14:07.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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