January 23, 2018 / 4:28 AM / 5 months ago

Vasilevskiy notches 7th shutout as Lightning top Blackhawks

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 40 shots he faced for his league-leading seventh shutout of the season as the Tampa Bay Lightning held on for a 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night at the United Center.

Chris Kunitz and Yanni Gourde scored for Tampa Bay, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Tampa Bay leads the Eastern Conference with 67 points in 47 games.

Chicago lost its third game in a row and dropped to 1-4-0 in its past five contests. The Blackhawks were shut out for the fourth time this season and for the second time in the past three games.

Vasilevskiy stopped 13 shots in the first period, 17 shots in the second and 10 in the third to collect the 11th shutout of his career. The 23-year-old tied the franchise record for shutouts in a single season, matching Nikolai Khabibulin’s total during the 2001-02 campaign.

Goaltender Jeff Glass made 29 saves to keep the Blackhawks in contention but fell to 3-3-1. Chicago played its 12th straight game without netminder Corey Crawford, who is out with an upper-body injury.

A short-handed goal by Tampa Bay broke a scoreless tie with 2:46 remaining in the second period. Defenseman Jake Dotchin ripped a shot that missed high and banked off the boards behind the net. Kunitz grabbed the puck and quickly stuffed in a backhand shot before Glass could recover.

The sequence marked Kunitz’s sixth goal of the season and his first goal since Dec. 7 against the Colorado Avalanche. The 38-year-old notched his first short-handed goal with the Lightning and the sixth short-handed goal of his career.

Gourde increased the lead to 2-0 on a one-timer from the left circle with 1:34 to go in the third period.

Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov returned to action after missing the previous 10 games because of an upper-body injury. He finished with a minus-2 rating and no shots on goal in 15:30 of ice time.

The Lightning played without left winger Ondrej Palat, who sustained a lower-body injury on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. Palat is expected to miss at least six weeks, the team announced Monday.

—Field Level Media

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