January 3, 2018 / 3:30 AM / 6 months ago

Vasilevskiy posts NHL-best sixth shutout as Lightning blank Leafs

Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his second consecutive shutout and NHL-leading sixth of the season to lead the Tampa Bay Lighting to a 2-0 road win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Vasilevskiy turned aside 29 shots to improve his season record to 26-5-1. Cedric Paquette scored his first goal of the season and Alex Killorn also tallied for the Lightning (29-8-2). Chris Kunitz, Mikhail Sergachev and Yanni Gourde recorded the assists.

Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots for the Maple Leafs (23-16-2). Toronto has dropped its last three games.

The Lightning rolled through the month of December, winning 11 of 13 games. They began a five-game road trip on New Year’s Eve by blanking Columbus, 5-0.

The Maple Leafs were beginning a six-game homestand after playing eight of their last nine on the road. They went 3-6 during that rugged stretch but still entered the New Year in second place in the Atlantic Division.

Tampa Bay outshot Toronto 12-10 in the first period but neither side could break though. Both teams had just one power play.

The Lightning’s top-ranked power play came up empty twice in the second period but they broke through on even-strength situations to gain a 2-0 advantage.

Kunitz won a battle for the puck with Andersen behind the net and fed it to Paquette in front of the goal. Paquette’s goal broke the scoreless deadlock 12 minutes into the second period.

Killorn notched his fifth goal of the season less than five minutes later off feeds from Sergachev and Gourde. The goal came after a replay review, where it was determined that Killorn’s shot trickled just over the goal line off Andersen’s left skate.

Vasilevskiy stopped 11 third-period shots to preserve the shutout. The Lightning have allowed just one goal in their last four victories, all with Vasilevskiy protecting the net.

The Lightning resume their road trip at Montreal on Thursday, while the Maple Leafs host San Jose the same evening.

—Field Level Media

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