This was the kind of game we were expecting to see from Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy more often this season.
Vasilevskiy returned to his Vezina Trophy form of 2018-19 as he stopped 38 shots in the lightnings 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Vasilevskiy was outstanding in the win and at times moving quickly from post to post and making saves that only someone named Vasilevskiy could make.
In his post game press conference Vasilevskiy said he felt pretty good.
“Had lots of shots against and stayed in the game the whole time. I said that before it’s easier for me to play with 30, 40 shots against than with 10 shots against. I felt actually pretty good, and we did a great job blocking shots. We were pretty good in the blue paint on all those scrambles.”
There was no question that this is the best we have seen from Andrei Vasilevskiy this season. He has won his last four starts and is 8-1-1 over his last ten starts.
The Lightning won their fifth in a row and these five wins have all been against teams in the division. Florida, Detroit, Montreal, Buffalo, and Montreal again. The lightning will have one more division contest in Ottawa on Saturday night, then a stop in Carolina Sunday night before a four game home stand.
The lightning started quick in this game something that has been lacking most of the season as Anthony Cirelli put the puck past Canadiens goalie Carey Price to give the Lightning an early 1-0 lead forty seconds into the first period.
This is something that the lightning have not had much success in so far this season, getting that first goal and playing with the lead in the first period.
Five minutes later, the Lightning tied it up on a Jeff Petry goal to make it 1-1.
A Montreal turnover cost the Canadiens the final goal as Braydon Point hit Nikita Kucherov who found the back of the net for his 14th goal of the season at the 8:28 mark of the first period and that would be all the Lightning would need as they made that one goal lead stand up the rest of the way.
This was a tough physical game in which the lightning were outshot 39-23, lost the face off battle, and spent almost twice as much time in the penalty box as the Canadiens.
It wasn’t a perfect game, but it looks as if the lightning are starting to get that groove back that had been missing most of the season.
-Barring an injury, defensemen Victor Hedman will be the sole Lightning Representative at the All-Star game in St. Louis later this month.
Hedman has picked right up where he left off last season leading the Lightning defensemen with nine goals and 28 assists, and is second on the team in scoring with 37 points trailing Nikita Kucherov.
Hedman’s 37 points are also tied for second in the NHL in scoring by a defensemen. Roman Josi of Nashville leads all defensemen with 41 points, and Dougie Hamilton of Montreal is tied for second with Hedman for 37 points.