The Tampa Bay Lightning are in their second straight Stanley Cup Final and a major reason why is because of the stellar goaltending of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy of Tyumen, Russia. On Friday in Tampa Bay, FL, Vasilevskiy made 18 saves as the Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 1-0 in game seven of the Stanley Cup semifinals. With the win, the Lightning won the best out of seven series four games to three, and will now face the Montreal Canadiens starting Monday.
Vasilevskiy made five saves in the first period, six saves in the second period, and seven saves in the third period. Casey Cizikas of Toronto, Ontario led the Islanders with three shots on goal.
There is no doubt that Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov was significantly busier than Vasilevskiy. Varlamov made 30 saves, and 12 more than Vasilevskiy.
This was the fourth consecutive series that the Lightning have won where Vasilevskiy has recorded a shutout in Tampa Bay’s fourth win of the series. He also had a shutout in the Lightning’s 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars on September 28, 2020, (which won Tampa Bay the Stanley Cup Final), a shutout in the Lightning’s 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers in Tampa Bay’s fourth win of the Central Division semifinals on May 26, and a shutout in the Lightning’s 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Tampa Bay’s fourth win of the Central Division Final on June 8.
This was Vasilevskiy’s second shutout of the series against the Islanders. He also blanked New York in game five on Tuesday night by a score of 8-0.
Yanni Gourde scored the only goal of the game, and it was shorthanded at 1:49 of the second period from Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn. Gourde was the first player to score a series-clinching game-winning shorthanded goal in game seven of a series since Steve Larmer of the Chicago Blackhawks accomplished the feat in the 1990 Norris Division Final against the St. Louis Blues.