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Vasilevskiy leads Lightning past Blackhawks 2-0
#1
Andrei Vasilevskiy was terrific, Chris Kunitz made a clutch play and Tampa Bay's penalty killers had a big night.

 that was the difference.","That's the difference in the game," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "You look at the guys they throw over the boards. So you're going to give them 11 minutes in power-play time,adidas Philipp Grubauer jersey, to keep them off the board especially with 45 seconds of 5-on-3

Kunitz's sixth goal was enough for Vasilevskiy, who got his 28th win of the season. Patrick Kane shot the puck off the right post during a power play in the first, and Anthony Duclair was stopped by Vasilevskiy on a breakaway 6:41 into the third.

Vasilevskiy's seven shutouts match Tampa Bay's franchise record set by Nikolai Khabibulin during the 2001-02 season.

"You could see early he was in the groove and he just kept that going for the rest of the game,adidas Blake Wheeler jersey," Cooper said.

Gourde put the game away when he beat Glass with a slap shot low on the goaltender's glove side with 1:34 left. It was Gourde's 15th goal of the season.

"It's frustrating, it didn't happen."," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "I thought we played a lot better in tonight's game than we have in previous games,adidas Patrik Laine jersey, we had momentum in the game, but it's not good enough. We had chances, and I thought maybe our power play ... it would have been nice to get one,adidas Dustin Byfuglien jersey, maybe two. Obviously

Tampa Bay (32-12-3) improved to 1-1 on an eight-game trip overlapping the All-Star festivities at its home arena. It's the longest road trip in the NHL this season.

 but the Blackhawks are running out of time in the competitive Central Division.,Glass made 29 saves, but last-place Chicago (22-19-6) lost for the fourth time in five games. It was a much better performance than its previous two games,Authentic Connor Hellebuyck jersey, when Chicago was outscored 11-3 in losses to Detroit and the New York Islanders

"That hole's getting deeper," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Some positive things, but not scoring in some key situations and giving up that shorty in a period where you've probably played as good as you played in a long time. You dominate and you're down 1-0 with a four-minute power play and you don't score on a 5-on-3."

Brayden Point scored twice,adidas Connor Hellebuyck jersey, but the NHL-leading Lightning lost a season-high third straight. Tampa Bay has dropped four of six overall — allowing 26 goals during that stretch.

“Judging by the last couple games, tonight was a step forward even though we lost. We did a lot of good things,” Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi said.

Tampa Bay, which has a league-best 65 points, lost 5-1 to Calgary before its bye week and 4-1 to Vegas in its first game back Thursday — both at home.

” Parise said. “But I thought tonight was probably the best it’s been in my short season.”,“I’ve felt good conditioning-wise and energy-wise. But like I’ve said,Authentic Philipp Grubauer jersey, the puck handling stuff, that’s a little slower to come back

Prosser precisely put the puck between Vasilevskiy and the post for a 3-0 lead seven minutes into the second, but Point scored late to get the Lightning within two.

Point scored on a two-man advantage in the third to make it 4-2,Authentic Blake Wheeler jersey, a goal upheld after the Wild challenged for goaltender interference.

Cullen, who assisted on Foligno’s goal early in the third to make it 4-1, has 252 goals and 448 assists during his 20-season career. He received a standing ovation when the milestone was announced.

 so it was pretty cool to have that.”,Authentic Patrik Laine jersey,“I was kind of caught off guard,” said Cullen, who grew up in Minnesota. “I’m very proud to be from here

The top two teams in the league come together for a midseason matchup on Thursday night when Vegas visits Tampa Bay.

 which surprisingly sits atop the Western Conference standings.,Authentic Dustin Byfuglien jersey,This is the second meeting this season between Tampa Bay, which has the best record in the league, and Vegas

And if the second matchup is anything like the first,Authentic Michael Hutchinson jersey, the game will be played at a high and entertaining pace.

When the teams met in Vegas in December, they pushed play with an aggressive defensive group that likes to join the rush, get in on the forecheck and be part of the offensive attack.

The Golden Knights won the game with less than three seconds left on a power-play goal by Shea Theodore.

 it’s loud and they have great fans.,adidas Michael Hutchinson jersey,“They play fast, they play the way we want to play,” said Vegas leading scorer Jonathan Marchessault, who started his NHL career with the Lightning. “It’s a tough building to come into

“They have a really good team and I think we have to be ready, for sure.”

Vegas enters the game having lost consecutive games of any kind for the first time since Nov. 28-30. The Golden Knights have also scored just four goals in the past three games and are coming off a shutout loss in Nashville on Tuesday.

Head coach Gerard Gallant is not overly concerned about the lack of scoring, especially after getting 43 shots on goal against the Predators.

“I was happy. We played a great game (Tuesday). We just couldn’t score on a great goaltender at the other end,” Gallant said. “I hope we play like that on most nights because we played a helluva game. We just didn’t win.”

The Lightning are going to have to find a way to win without their leading defenseman, Victor Hedman, who was injured in Tampa Bay’s final game before the bye week. The team diagnosed Hedman with an undisclosed lower body injury that will keep him out three to six weeks.

“He’s tough to replace. … I guess you could say he’s really irreplaceable,” Lightning center Tyler Johnson said. “He’s that anchor on the blue line.”
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