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Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy subs in during play

Jon Cooper pulled the goaltender early, then put him back in on the fly.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stops a shot on the goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in New York. [AP Photo/Frank Franklin II]
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stops a shot on the goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in New York. [AP Photo/Frank Franklin II]
Published Jan. 14, 2019

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—There was some craziness happening between the Lightning's crease and bench on Sunday. Jon Cooper pulled Andrei Vasilevkiy with about 10 minutes to play, put him back in on the fly, and proceeded to pull him twice more.

It wasn't as random as that sounds though.

On the first occasion, the Islanders had just been called for icing. They had four players stuck on the ice after a shift and by pulling Vasilevskiy, the Lightning were able to keep them out there. It essentially turned into a power play against tired skaters.

The crazier part was that when the Islanders finally did clear the puck and change, Cooper sent Vasilevskiy back out on the fly, as part of a normal in-play line change.

Cooper couldn't remember the last time he did that with a goalie. He didn't say never, but it wasn't in the NHL.

"We were trying to win a hockey game," he said. "It's in the rules to do it. We had our guys out there. We had our looks. We had some really good looks."

In total, Vasilevskiy sat for five minutes. It gave the Lightning a chance, but it didn't work as far as sparking a comeback.