EditorsNote: Change Vasilevskiy’s save total to 22 sted 23; resent again to fix spelling of Lightning
Nikita Kucherov scored on the power play early in the third period, Andrei Vasilevskiy had 22 saves, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 on Wednesday night in Denver.
Steven Stamkos had an assist for the Lightning, who have earned at least a point in six consecutive games.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots for Colorado, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
The teams played an entertaining game on national TV without many goals. Both goaltenders were on their games to keep it scoreless until Kucherov netted the 150th of his career.
Stamkos got the puck on the left side of the offensive zone, and after eluding a diving defender, he sent a pass across to Kucherov, whose one-timer beat Varlamov high at 6:24 of the third period.
The Avalanche nearly tied it moments later when Nathan MacKinnon had a mini-breakaway, but the play was broken up by Ryan McDonagh.
The Avalanche had another great chance for Marko Dano midway through the third, but defenseman Ryan Callahan’s backcheck foiled his attempt.
Vasilevskiy’s best save came in the first minute of the third period. A turnover behind the Tampa Bay net ended up on Mikko Rantanen’s stick, and Rantanen sent a pass to Gabriel Landeskog in front. Landeskog’s close-in shot to the far post was headed in until Vasilevskiy got his glove on it.
A few minutes later, Varlamov got his right pad on a loose puck in the crease before the Lightning could knock it in.
Not surprisingly, the top two penalty-killing teams in the NHL were good on special teams. Tampa Bay, which leads the league in that category, killed off all four Colorado chances. The last one came late in the third period, but Vasilevskiy saved shots by MacKinnon and Alexander Kerfoot.
The Lightning have killed off 33 of 34 opponents’ power-play chances.
Varlamov came off for an extra skater with about 90 seconds left, but Colorado couldn’t get a clean shot on goal to tie it.
—Field Level Media