Vasilevskiy stops 45 shots in second NHL start, but falls to Islanders

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Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy won in his NHL debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. He couldn’t get to 2-0-0, but he certainly went above and beyond the call of duty in the Islanders’ 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay.

Vasilevskiy turned aside 45 of 47 shots as the Islanders outshot the Lightning by at least seven in each period of this contest.

The Islanders finally managed to solve him late in the third period as John Tavares and Anders Lee scored just 12 seconds apart.

“I don’t know who got the stars, but he should have been all three,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told Tampa Bay Times writer Joe Smith. “He was outstanding.”

“We got dominated out there,” Stamkos said. “If it wasn’t for Vasy, who knows what the score would have been? Hopefully that’s a wake up call to us.”

The Lightning could certainly use one. They were dominant out of the gate this season, but have managed to win just two of their last eight games. With Montreal victorious tonight, the Lightning have fallen behind in the battle for the Atlantic Division title.

“We’re getting tested a little bit here,” Brett Connolly conceded. “We’ll see what we’re made of.”

The Lightning will play against Pittsburgh on Tuesday before they begin the holiday break.