Vezina Finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy halts Hurricanes as Lightning go up 2-0 in series

Vezina Finalist, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 31 shots in a masterful performance as the Tampa Bay Lightning claimed a 2-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 for its second road victory of the second-round series Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C.

Vezina Finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy halts Hurricanes

It was nearly Vasilevskiy’s second shutout in the Lightning’s last three games until Andrei Svechnikov scored with 1:30 remaining as Carolina went with an extra skater.

“Sometimes tonight we didn’t get there, but we had lots of good looks, a couple of empty nets we missed,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It was a pretty good game, we played pretty hard. We’re playing the best team in the world, going toe to toe. We’re not getting overwhelmed. We just didn’t get a break. We’re doing everything we’re trying to do. We just haven’t gotten that little breakthrough yet.”

Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli scored for the Lightning.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Tampa, Fla.

Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 13 saves.

Hurricanes need to find another level

lightning hurricanes
Jun 1, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) celebrates his second period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in game two of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Lightning are 6-1 in the playoffs when going into the third period with the lead. The Hurricanes have lost consecutive home games after winning all three home outings in the first round against the Nashville Predators.

Vasilevskiy blanked the Florida Panthers in last week’s Game 6 clincher in the first round. He was the winner again Sunday in the 2-1 series opener against the Hurricanes.

The second Tampa Bay goal came when Carolina defenseman Brady Skjei couldn’t control the puck near the blue line and Cirelli converted with 11:54 remaining in the third period for his third goal of this postseason.

Killorn’s goal came slightly more than seven minutes into the second period. He fired a shot from high in the slot, with the puck making it through traffic. Steven Stamkos picked up the assist.

It was Killorn’s fifth goal of this postseason, giving the left winger a share of the team lead in that category.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of pretty passing-play goals in this series,” Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. “There’s not a lot of room out there offensively on both sides with the way that the teams defend, with the way that the goaltenders are playing. Even special teams tonight, it was more a penalty-kill clinic than a power-play clinic.”

Carolina has surrendered the first goal in seven of its eight playoff games this year.

Nedeljkovic kept it a one-goal margin later in the period by stopping Nikita Kucherov’s attempt as he charged in unchecked.

The Hurricanes held a 21-11 edge in shots on goal through two periods.

There were a total of 14 first-period shots, with Carolina credited with eight of those. The only power play came in the last two minutes of the period when Killorn went to the box.

Note: Carolina’s Vincent Trocheck sustained an injury after a collision with teammate Warren Foegele. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour will provide an update today.

–Field Level Media