Andrei Vasilevskiy of Tyumen, Russia picked up his second National Hockey League playoff shutout on Thursday. It was a significant shutout, as he helped the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 4-0 from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. With the win, the Lightning beat the Panthers four games to two in the best out of seven Central Division semi-final series. This was the first time in the history of the Lightning and Panthers franchises that they played against each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Lightning will play either the Carolina Hurricanes or Nashville Predators in the Central Division Final. The Hurricanes lead the Predators three games to two in their best out of seven Central Division semifinal series, with game six in Nashville on Thursday night.
In the Lightning win over the Panthers, Vasilevskiy made 29 saves overall. He made eight saves in the first period, 11 saves in the second period, and 10 saves in the third period. Panthers’ right winger Patric Hornqvist of Sollentuna, Sweden led Florida with five shots on goal.
Offensively for the Lightning, three players for Tampa Bay recorded a multi-point game. They were Steven Stamkos of Markham, Ontario, Nikita Kucherov of Maykop, Russia, and Erik Cernak of Kosice, Slovakia. Stamkos had one goal and one assist for two points, while Kucherov and Cernak had two assists each. It should be noted that Kucherov missed the entire regular season because of hip surgery. The other Lightning goal scorers were Patrick Maroon of St. Louis, MO, Alex Killorn of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Brayden Point of Calgary, Alberta.
In the 2021 playoffs, Vasilevskiy has a record of four wins, two losses, a goals against average of 2.64, and a save percentage of .929. Vasilevskiy’s other Stanley Cup playoff shutout came in a 2-0 Lightning win over the Dallas Stars in game four of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals. With the win, the Lightning won their second Stanley Cup in franchise history.