February 11, 2018 / 4:01 AM / a month ago

Vasilevskiy has 44 saves as Lightning edge Kings

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 44 saves and Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.

Alex Killorn, Cedric Paquette and Nikita Kucherov scored goals for Tampa Bay, which won for the seventh time in nine games, but Vasilevskiy was the story, making several highlight-reel stops, including a behind-the-back glove save in the first period to rob Anze Kopitar and an Adrian Kempe deflection of a Drew Doughty shot with 1:08 left that would have tied the game.

Jonny Brodzinski, Kyle Clifford and Christian Folin scored for Los Angeles, which had a three-game win streak snapped and was playing the second half of a back-to-back in the Sunshine State. The Kings defeated Florida, 3-1, on Friday night.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 11 of 14 shots before giving way to Jonathan Quick, who finished with 13 saves, with 16:48 left in the second period. Kuemper entered the game with a 4-0-0 record and 0.74 goals against in his previous four starts, including a pair of shutouts.

Stamkos gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead after just 65 seconds, firing a tough-angled shot from the left side of the net between the post and blocker of Kuemper for his 21st goal of the season.

Los Angeles, which had 18 shots in the first period but none in the first five minutes, scored on their first shot of the game to tie it when Brodzinski redirected a crossing pass from Andy Andreoff past Vasilevskiy’s blocker.

Killorn made it 2-1 with a breakaway goal off a long pass from Stamkos. Paquette then sent Kuemper to the bench when he got his own rebound behind the net and backhanded a shot off Kuemper’s skate into the net.

Tampa Bay, taking advantage of a five-minute major on Dustin Brown for kneeing Mikhail Sergachev coming out of his own zone, made it 4-1 with a power-play goal by Kucherov, who wristed a shot from the right circle past Quick’s glove hand.

The Kings closed to within 4-3 on goals by Clifford and Folin and then had a handful of chances after pulling Quick with 1:18 to go, including a slapper by Doughty on the final faceoff at the buzzer.

—Field Level Media

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