Vasilevskiy Returns In Style As Lightning Defeat Leafs 4-1


The best player on the ice was the one who hadn't played in over a month. 

In his first game since November 10th, Andrei Vasilevskiy put on an absolute show as the Lightning defeated the Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena. 

The "Big Cat" made a career-high 48 saves on the night, with more than a handful of stops that just made you shake your head in amazement. 

There was a ton of energy in the building right from the start and it was the Maple Leafs who took advantage of a mistake to take the early lead. 

Leafs winger Kasperi Kapanen intercepted an errant pass from Nikita Kucherov right in front of Andrei Vasilevskiy and beat Vasy high to the glove side to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. 

Tampa Bay looked like they were headed for trouble when soon thereafter Cedric Paquette was whistled for high sticking, but that's when Anthony Cirelli went to work. 

With Toronto's William Nylander speeding down the middle of the ice, Cirelli picked his pocket to chip the puck free. Ryan Callahan dove to retrieve the puck and spring Cirelli for the breakaway. The young Lightning forward deked to his backhand and scored on Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen to tie the game at one. 

Tampa Bay took the lead at the 5:30 mark of the second period, but it was a little bit of delayed gratification. At the tail end of a power play due to a penalty to Toronto center Nazem Kadri, Kucherov fired a one-timer that appeared to be gloved by Andersen. Upon further review, Andersen's glove went into the net and over the goal line so Kucherov was awarded the power play tally to make it 2-1. 

It looked to be a one-goal game heading into the third, but the Lightning struck twice before the final horn of the second sounded. 

Alex Killorn scored on a backhander with 36 seconds left in the period and before the fans could sit down, Tyler Johnson snapped one over the shoulder of Andersen with just under two seconds left on the clock to send the Amalie crowd into a frenzy. 

Andersen stopped 17 of 21 shots on the night. 


1st Period 

1. Toronto - Kapanen - (Unassisted) - 5:26

2. Tampa Bay - SHG - Cirelli - (Callahan) - 8:20 

2nd Period 

1. Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Hedman, Miller) - 5:30 

2. Tampa Bay - Killorn - (Cirelli, Miller) - 19:24

3. Tampa Bay - Johnson - (Kucherov, Girardi) - 19:58

3rd Period 



1st Period 

1. Tampa Bay - Paquette - (High Sticking) - 6:54

2. Toronto - Dermott - (Slashing) - 14:21

3. Tampa Bay - Gourde - (Delay of Game) - 18:35

2nd Period 

1. Toronto - Kadri - (Closing His Hand on the Puck) - 3:57

2. Tampa Bay - Killorn - (Inteference) - 6:32

3. Toronto - Kadri - (Roughing) - 8:44

4. Tampa Bay - Callahan - (Roughing) - 8:44

5. Tampa Bay - Cernak - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 8:44

6. Toronto - Kapanen - (Tripping) - 10:07

7. Tampa Bay - Girardi - (Delay of Game) - 13:12

3rd Period 

1. Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Interference) - 9:26

What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action Sunday night as they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets. Puck drop is slated for 7pm with the pregame show starting at 630pm on NewsRadio 970WFLA. 

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