TAMPA -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves in his first career shutout and Ryan Callahan scored his 20th goal of the season to help the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.
There was speculation that Vasilevskiy started in goal because regular starter Ben Bishop was hit in the midsection with a puck during the morning skate which ended his session early. However, Vasilevskiy and head coach Jon Cooper said the plan was to start the 20-year-old all along.
"I found out about it a day ago,” Vasilevskiy said. “That’s when they told me I was going to start."
"These guys are frustrated with what happened the last couple days," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "They lost close friends and they’re down. But they went out and worked for 60 minutes. We put some good chances together in the first but couldn’t get a goal. We know we’re going to have to win games 2-1 or 1-0 and that’s tough to do."
"I really appreciated that, it’s really nice to feel welcomed," Coburn said. "I was a little nervous. It’s a new color, new teammates, a new system … so I felt like my game was a little bit hesistant at times, but I think as I get more comfortable with what they are doing here, I’ll definitely feel more comfortable."
"I thought it was a pretty good entrance," Cooper said. "Come in and lay a big hit and get in a scrap, gets the fans on your side right away. He was solid, guys didn’t get around him."
Callahan's goal came on a two-man advantage at 2:48 in the second period to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. He took a pass from Tyler Johnson in front of the goal and punched a shot past Sabres goalie Anders Lindback. It's the fourth time in his career he has scored 20 goals.
Hedman scored on the same power play at 4:24 in the period with a snap shot from the right circle that got past Lindback on the glove side to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead. It was the Lightning's sixth power-play goal in the past five games.
"We had a pretty slow start but [Vasilevskiy] made some key saves early and we took over," Hedman said. "In the third we shut them down and it was good to get the shutout. It’s always nice to get on the score sheet too."
Stamkos gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 16:37 when he received a wrap-around pass from Alex Killorn in the slot and sent a wrist shot past Lindback. The shot appeared to hit Nikita Zadorov's stick and take a bounce that caught Lindback out of position.
It was Stamkos' 36th goal and fourth goal in the past three games.
"I thought we bounced back nicely [Tuesday] and we made some plays on our power play to get the momentum," Stamkos said. "But Andrei was huge; he had a great start and stopped them on a couple of power plays in the third period. We wanted him to get the shutout, his first one, and to do it on home ice."
Lindback had 32 saves on 35 shots and is now 2-9-0 on the season.
"Obviously we're going to give up some shots, that’s going to be the theme of the year," Sabres center Philip Varone said. "But we had our chances to score. I think we definitely had a chance to make a game out of it if we don't take that 5-on-3, but stuff like that happens and you just move forward."