TAMPA, Fla. – Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 stops to move to 12-0 lifetime against Detroit and lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Tampa Bay has won 17 consecutive home games against the Red Wings and improved to 20-1-1 in the last 22 meetings overall. The teams meet again on Sunday.
“I love Vasy he’s committed to himself, he’s committed to be in the best goalie in the world," Lightning forward Pat Maroon said. “He wants to be the best, he wants to win every single year, he wants to win every single game. He hates to lose. His commitment is unbelievable”
Ross Colton and Brayden Point scored Tampa Bay’s goals. Adam Erne scored for Detroit. Thomas Greiss finished with 27 saves.
“I thought there were some moments we did good stuff and moments where we weren’t good enough,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “I thought we created enough chances to score more than one and I think we can still do a better job of limiting chances. It was a game that was there to be had.”
Colton opened the scoring 4:07 into the game, backhanding home a rebound in front of the net after Andreas Borgman’s shot glanced off Maroon.
“We had some really good jump,’’ Maroon said. “They’re a good team, they know how to check well and they play their system. We had a good push . . . we were on them fast and got rewarded quick.’’
Point quickly made it 2-0 on a passing sequence from Ondrej Palat cutting back at the right circle over to Victor Hedman at the left point and back down to Point at the bottom of the right circle for a quick wrist shot over Greiss.
“I saw (Point) right away as soon as (Palat) pulled up,’’ Hedman said. “So I tried to put in an area and Pointer had a hell of a shot and that was a big goal at a big time.’’
Erne, a second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2013, scored his second this season against the Lightning, battling with Colton down low to find a loose puck and tuck it around a sprawling Vasilevskiy 4:00 into the third period.
The Red Wings finished with 12 shots on goal in the third, but Vasilevskiy stood tall as he has done so many times before, including a sliding stop to deny Valtteri Filppula’s 2-on-1 chance at 8:40.
“Not too satisfied right now … we lost 2-1,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “We were there. We didn’t have the best start, but we battled back in the game. Vasilevskiy was good. He did what he does. Nothing to be satisfied about, though.’’
ROSS THE ROOKIE
Tampa Bay rookie C Colton got his fourth goal of the season in his 11th career game. Colton made his NHL debut against Carolina on Feb. 24, scoring on his second shift. Twice, including Saturday, Colton has opened the scoring. His other two goals came in the third period, one a winner against Chicago on March 18, the other, on Tuesday, tying a game. Colton also converted his only shootout attempt in Dallas on March 16.
DOING THE TAXI SHUFFLE
Detroit made a handful of roster moves prior to the game that involved four players. Evgeny Svechnikov, who cleared waivers on Saturday, was assigned to the team’s taxi squad. Valtteri Filppula, Givani Smith, Frans Nielsen and Michael Rasmussen were all activated off the taxi squad and in the lineup against Tampa Bay. For Filppula it was his first game since Feb. 28.
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