Bolts backstop Vasilevskiy played big stopping 31 of 32 shots. “He was big. We know what we’re going to get from Vasy. He’s going to make some big saves,” said Steven Stamkos.
“We scored two in the first and I got some confidence. The guys made a lot of selfless plays and blocked shots,” said Vasilevskiy.
The Lightning started fast in this one as Steven Stamkos netted a power play goal at 8:03 from Tyler Johnson and Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov scored from Victor Hedman and Stamkos at 11:00 of the first period. It was just the fifth time in 14 games the Bolts have scored first. With his assist, Hedman is now the all-time assists leader for defenseman (188, ranks 7th on all-time list) as a Bolt, passing Dan Boyle. “I’ve been a part of this orginization a long time… To have a record like that is something I’m proud of,” said Hedman.
The Islanders made a big push late in the second, but young Vasilevskiy kept the Bolts ahead by two.
New York led in shots over the Bolts 32-28. The Lightning were 2-6 on the power play.
The Lightning (8-5-1) host the San Jose Sharks next on Saturday evening at 7:00 PM at Amalie Arena.