April 19, 2018 / 2:47 AM / 8 months ago

Vasilevskiy, Lightning hold off Devils for 3-1 series lead

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Tampa Bay leads the series three games to one and can close it out Saturday afternoon on home ice in Game 5.

Vasilevskiy made seven saves while Tampa Bay was short-handed, and the Devils finished 1-for-6 on the power play. He also made four saves on breakaways, stopping Travis Zajac, Blake Coleman, Patrick Maroon and Taylor Hall.

Nikita Kucherov took seven shots and recorded his third consecutive multi-point game with two goals and an assist. It was his eighth career postseason game with three points and seventh multi-goal game in the postseason.

J.T. Miller added a goal and two assists for Tampa Bay, which rebounded from allowing four goals in the third period in Game 3 on Monday.

Kyle Palmieri scored a power-play goal for the Devils. Hall registered an assist but did not take his first shot on goal until the third period.

Cory Schneider made 34 saves in his second straight start for New Jersey after replacing Keith Kinkaid in the third period in Game 3. Schneider kept it a one-goal game with two stops on Alex Killorn during a Tampa Bay power play in the third period.

After those stops, the Devils could not get the equalizer, and Kucherov scored into an empty net at 18:52, shortly after Schneider was pulled.

Kucherov also left the Devils short-handed on defense with a hard hit on defenseman Sami Vatanen’s right shoulder with about four minutes remaining. Vatanen was sidelined for the rest of the game.

For the first time in the series, the Devils struck first as Palmieri put a one-timer from the right circle into the left side of the net during a five-on-three at 8:23 of the opening period.

Tampa Bay tied it with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the first when Stamkos, Kucherov and Miller finished off a nifty three-way passing play on a rush. Miller completed the play by putting a wrist shot from the low slot over Schneider’s stick.

Tampa Bay saw a goal by Cory Conacher disallowed because of an offside call about a minute later but took a 2-1 lead at 15:02 of the first. Kucherov controlled his own rebound while jostling with Damon Severson in the low slot, and he lifted the puck over Schneider’s left shoulder.

—Field Level Media

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