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Andrei Vasilevskiy wins the Vezina Trophy

Vasilevskiy becomes the first goaltender to win the award

by Bryan Burns /

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was announced as the winner of the 2019 Vezina Trophy at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas Wednesday night.

Vasilevskiy becomes the first Lightning goaltender in franchise history to earn the distinction. He joins Sergei Bobrovsky as the only Russian-born players to win the award given to the NHL goalie adjudged to be the best at his position as selected by the League's general managers.

Vasilevskiy captured 28 of 31 first-place votes to finish ahead of former teammate Ben Bishop, now with Dallas, and the New York Islanders Robin Lehner. Vasilevskiy tallied 146 overall points to Bishop's 64 and Lehner's 17.

In his acceptance speech, Vasilevskiy congratulated the two finalists on their seasons and recognized a number of people who helped him win the prestigious award.

Tweet from @TBLightning: #VASYVASYVASY!Proud of how far you've come, can't wait to see how bright you'll keep shining. ������🦁 #NHLAwards

"I'd like to thank my teammates, coaches, trainers. Thank you very much for your effort. You're the best, and I'm proud to be your teammate," the 24-year-old netminder said. "I'd like to thank the entire Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the opportunity to play for the best hockey club in the world. Thank you to our fans. Guys, you're the best. Thank you for your support and your warm ovations. Of course, thanks to my family, my parents, my brother, thank you for your support and your love. And of course, thank you to my beautiful wife Kseniya and our beautiful son Lukas. I love you so much. I wouldn't be here without you guys. Thank you."

Vasilevskiy registered the second-best save percentage (.925) and posted the third-most wins (39) in a single season in Lightning history in 2018-19, despite missing a month of the season with a left foot fracture suffered in mid-November. Vasilevskiy's 39 wins were the most in the NHL this season, the second-consecutive season he's led the League for victories (he had 44 wins in 2017-18 along with Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck).

In addition to wins, Vasilevskiy finished in the top 10 in the NHL for shutouts (tied for 4th), save percentage (tied for 6th) and goals-against average (9th).

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