NHL Game Night: 12-13-18 Maple Leafs at Lightning

Vasilevskiy returns and dominates.

TOR-1
TB-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just 1 goal on 49 shots for the victory, tying a Lightning single game record for saves. There were at least two saves in this game that were worthy save-of-the-year candidates for the league. He's the ultimate hole card for this team. Even if you can outplay the 18 guys in front of him, you've still got to deal with Vasiy. Good luck with that.

First Period
5:26 TOR Kapanen (12), (unassisted)
8:20 TB Cirelli (9), (Callahan)(SH)

Second Period
5:31 TB Kucherov (13), (Hedman, Miller)(PP)
19:24 TB Killorn (7), (Cirelli, Miller)
19:58 TB Johnson (13), (Kucherov, Girardi)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Vasilevskiy, Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov were the game's three stars.

Not the Lightning's best effort, primarily because they got into penalty trouble that accounted for 15 of the Leafs' shots tonight. That gave the Leafs the momentum, which compounded issues the Lightning were having with some sloppy puck management early on in the game. I don't feel the SOG's are completely indicative of the run of play, but it's certainly easy to say the Lightning can and probably will do better next time these two teams cross paths.

Tampa Bay pulls eight points clear of Toronto for the Atlantic Division lead with the win. Eight straight wins and nine of the last 10: If the Lightning can keep it rolling through this upcoming road trip, Tampa Bay could be in a pretty difficult to catch position at the midway point of the campaign.

Cirelli had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 17:38. He was also 46% on 24 draws. His shorthanded goal in the First Period was not only a thing of beauty on the breakaway, but it was a key moment that helped keep the Lightning in the game while they were facing a bit of an early onslaught.

Adam Erne had 1 shot and 3 hits in 7:37 subbing in for the nicked up Joseph.

Erik Cernak had 2 shots and 5 hits in 20:31 as well as 2 penalty minutes. The nasty way Cernak physically disposed of Kadri in the Third Period to create a 2-on-1 was a moment that I suspect dozens, if not hundreds, of other hockey players wish they could've done to Kadri themselves. Disposed of him like yesterday's garbage.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.