Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy comes up big in 4-1 win at Ottawa

OTTAWA — When new Senators coach Guy Boucher discussed Saturday's showdown with the Lightning, he spoke more in reverence than about revenge.

"They don't have a lot of flaws," Boucher said.

And Boucher found that out the hard way, the former Lightning coach handed an 4-1 loss at the Canadian Tire Center. It was the first time Boucher faced Tampa Bay since getting fired in 2013 after four seasons as coach.

While Tampa Bay (4-1) has yet to put together a complete 60-minute performance, this was a great way to kick off a six-game, 11-day road trip, the next game Tuesday in Toronto.

Backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy came up big, especially in the Senators second-period flurry, with 27 saves. The Lightning power play snapped out of a three-game drought with two goals, including one by captain Steven Stamkos. And Alex Killorn helped seal the win with a huge insurance goal midway through the third, his team-leading fourth of the season.

It helped that, for the first time in five games, Tampa Bay scored the game's first goal. The Lightning had led for just over 26 minutes combined in the first four games, but never trailed in this one.

It began with a strong start. Coach Jon Cooper shuffled the lines, reuniting Vladislav Namestnikov, Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, the trio a dynamic force Saturday. Though Tampa Bay failed to score a first period goal for the fifth consecutive game, it held a 14-4 shot advantage the first 20 minutes, controlling play.

The Lightning then took a two-goal lead with goals on back to-back power plays in the second period. Namestnikov got the first one, redirecting a point shot from Anton Stralman, who picked up his 150th career assist. Four minutes later, Stamkos converted a Namestnikov pass for a one-timer from the left circle.

The Senators would battle back, swarming in the second half of the second period, outshooting Tampa Bay 14-1 in the process. Ottawa pulled within one with five minutes to go, Chris Neil pouncing on his own rebound as Vasilevskiy lost control of the initial shot.

But had it not been for Vasilevskiy, this would one have been tied. Vasilevskiy stoned Ryan Dzingel on the doorstep during a power play, and then made a blocker save on a blast from Cody Ceci with just under two minutes left. Vasilevskiy then thwarted Chris Kelly early in the third. In just his second start of the season, Vasilevskiy showed why he'll get a larger share of the split with starter Ben Bishop.

After the Lightning failed to convert on a third-period power play, Killorn gave Tampa Bay much-needed breathing room with about 10 minutes to go. Killorn's shot from the right circle beat Craig Anderson to make it 3-1. And Killorn's linemate, Valtter Filppula, put it away with a breakaway goal in the final minutes. Rookie Brayden Point earned his second NHL point with an assist.

Joe Smith can be reached at Follow @TBTimes-JSmith.

Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy comes up big in 4-1 win at Ottawa 10/22/16 [Last modified: Sunday, October 23, 2016 5:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Vikings coach feels better about QB Bradford playing vs. Bucs


    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford moved with a little more bounce in his step during the 15 opening minutes of Thursday's practice before reporters were booted.

  2. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Friday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: RH Alex Cobb (11-10, 3.63)

    ORIOLES: RH Ubaldo Jimenez (6-10, 6.57)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  3. Bucs journal: Injury news not all bad


    TAMPA — The Bucs are dealing with injuries and illness as they prepare for their first road game of the season, at the Vikings on Sunday.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander, left, who had an interception against the Bears before leaving with a hamstring injury, misses his second straight day of practice.
  4. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).
  5. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots


    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]