Lightning defense holds a master class as Vasilevskiy sets franchise win streak record.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed one goal on 17 shots for his 13th consecutive victory. This might’ve been the easiest of the bunch, frankly. The total team defensive effort was impeccable. Head scratching they were able to pull it off without McDonagh in the lineup, which makes it that much more impressive.
4:32 DAL Hintz (9), (Robertson, Pavelski)(PP)
8:08 TB Stamkos (16), (Hedman, Palat)(PP)
12:44 TB Gourde (12), (unassisted)
Vasilevskiy and Steven Stamkos were the game’s first and third stars.
This was a classic “trust the process” kind of game for the Lightning, who utterly dominated possession but didn’t have a slew of great chances because Dallas is so good positionally and at blocking shots. Still, despite falling behind early, they kept plugging away and throwing pucks to the net and eventually got puck luck of both Stamkos and Gourde’s goals. And, in the meantime, they strangled the life out of Dallas’ attack with a shorter bench and a suffocating five man effort by each unit out on the ice.
Cal Foote had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 11:52. Wore the goat horns for his positioning on Hintz’s PP goal. After a run of several relatively mistake-free games and his IT inching up, he’s taken a step back these past couple of games, it seems.
Alexander Volkov had 1 shot and 1 hit in 9:35. Fresh out of the press box and trying to pry back some games from Ross Colton, he proceeded on his first shift to get beaten soundly in a one on one puck battle behind his net en route to surrendering a golden scoring chance. I’m frankly shocked to see he got 9:35 in IT, because it seemed like he only got one or two shifts thereafter. Honestly, though, Cooper’s got nobody to blame but himself. The thought that you shelve Colton for Volkov is… well… it was a choice.