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Vasilevskiy's first shutout lifts Lightning past Sabres

Corey Long  - NHL.com Correspondent | Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 11:50 PM

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.

Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman also scored for the Lightning (39-20-6), who are three points behind Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead having played two more games.

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."

Buffalo (19-40-5) struggled to put together scoring chances after the first period in its first game since trading forwards Brian Flynn, Chris Stewart and Torrey Mitchell and goalie Michal Neuvirth.

"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."

Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn, who was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, was in the starting lineup Tuesday and received a huge ovation from the crowd.

"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."

Coburn had a hit on Sabres forward Brian Gionta and got into a fight with Marcus Foligno during his 16:29 of ice time.

"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."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
16:37TBL Steven Stamkos (36) ASST: Alex Killorn (21), Andrej Sustr (9) 1 - 0 TBL
2nd Period
02:48TBL PPG - Ryan Callahan (20) ASST: Tyler Johnson (38), Valtteri Filppula (34) 2 - 0 TBL
04:24TBL PPG - Victor Hedman (8) ASST: Anton Stralman (28), Ondrej Palat (33) 3 - 0 TBL
3rd Period
NONE
Three Stars of the Game
Andrei Vasilevskiy
1st
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 22-22
PIM: 0PP: 6-6
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Steven Stamkos
2nd
G: 1Shots: 7
A: 0Hits: 4
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 17:50
Braydon Coburn
3rd
G: 0Shots: 0
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 0PIM: 7
+/-: 0TOI: 16:29
Penalty Summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
01:19BUF Rasmus Ristolainen  Hooking against  Steven Stamkos
02:27BUF Andrej Meszaros  Slashing against  Alex Killorn
15:03TBL Braydon Coburn  Fighting (maj) against  Marcus Foligno
15:03BUF Marcus Foligno  Fighting (maj) against  Braydon Coburn
3rd Period
07:08TBL Brenden Morrow  Hi-sticking against  Zach Bogosian
19:28TBL Braydon Coburn  Hooking against  Johan Larsson
shots by period
PeriodBUFTBL
1st1012
2nd417
3rd146
Total2835
Team Stats
CategoryBUFTBL
Power Plays0/22/2
Hits2828
Faceoff Wins2832
Giveaways510
Takeaways38
Blocked Shots1712
Penalty Minutes99
  • BUFFALO
  • TAMPA BAY
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
6M. WeberD0000019:58
12B. GiontaR0002017:52
19C. HodgsonC0003012:26
20Z. DalpeC00-10010:23
22J. LarssonL0002016:14
26M. MoulsonL0004020:15
37M. EllisL00-10010:24
41A. MeszarosD00-12216:07
44N. DeslauriersL0001011:39
47Z. BogosianD0007025:12
49J. D'AmigoR00-10010:36
51N. ZadorovD00-11016:09
55R. RistolainenD0001220:58
59T. SchallerC0000011:26
61A. BenoitD0000021:36
63T. EnnisC0001020:29
82M. FolignoL0002516:34
84P. VaroneC0002019:01
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
35A. Lindback3235.91459:15
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
5J. GarrisonD0003019:26
6A. StralmanD0102020:14
8M. BarberioD0012019:49
9T. JohnsonC0101016:37
10B. MorrowL0000210:38
11B. BoyleC0002011:55
13C. PaquetteC0000014:07
17A. KillornC0111021:09
18O. PalatL0104014:49
23J. BrownR000009:35
24R. CallahanR1013017:58
27J. DrouinL0001014:03
51V. FilppulaC0101016:24
55B. CoburnD0000716:29
62A. SustrD0111019:44
77V. HedmanD1003021:07
86N. KucherovR0004015:34
91S. StamkosC1017017:50
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
88A. Vasilevskiy28281.00060:00