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game recap

Vasilevskiy boosts Lightning past Kings

Makes 44 saves, stops Doughty on last-second shot

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 44 saves, the final one on a last-second shot by Drew Doughty, in a 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Vasilevskiy, 6-1-0 in his past seven starts, won his NHL-high 33rd game of the season. He also made an incredible save on Kings center Anze Kopitar at 8:35 of the first period when he reached behind his back to glove the shot from a sharp angle.


[WATCH: All Kings vs. Lightning highlights]


"As you can see, the last couple of games we aren't playing that good in the third," Vasilevskiy said. "We gave up lots of shots and lots of scoring chances but stuff like that happens sometimes. We just have to keep working and we'll figure it out."

Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist, and Alex Killorn, Cedric Paquette and Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning (38-14-3), who have the best record in the NHL and lead the Atlantic Division by five points over the Boston Bruins.

Jonny Brodzinski, Kyle Clifford and Christian Folin scored for the Kings (30-20-5), who had won their previous three games.

"Tonight we were in their zone, we were shooting pucks, we were getting to loose pucks after our initial shots and creating off those," Kopitar said. "We should be very pleased with our third period and hopefully we can carry that over to the next game."

Stamkos made it 1-0 at 1:05 of the first period, beating Kings goalie Darcy Kuemper over the shoulder. 

Video: LAK@TBL: Stamkos roofs Gourde's no-look feed early on

Brodzinski tied it 1-1 at 5:02 when he finished off a 3-on-2 rush.

Killorn gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 9:45 when he beat Kuemper on a breakaway, with Stamkos providing the feed.

Paquette scored his second goal of the season, at 3:12 of the second period off an assist from Ryan Callahan, to make it 3-1. Kuemper was pulled for Jonathan Quick after giving up three goals on 14 shots. He had been 4-0-0 with a 0.74 goals-against average and two shutouts in his past four starts.

Kucherov pushed the Lightning lead to 4-1 with a power-play goal at 14:43 after Kings forward Dustin Brown was given a five-minute major and a 10-minute game misconduct for kneeing Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev left the game but returned in the third period.

"We're finding ways to play early and jump out to leads, which is great for the first two periods," Stamkos said. "For whatever reason in the third we just don't continue to play the same way. 

"We know teams are going to push. They are going to get some chances, they are going to get some shots and [Vasilevskiy] is going to be there, but we can't let teams have a chance to get back in the game and then rely on him to make saves."

The Kings rallied with a goal from Clifford at 3:17 of the third period to cut the lead to 4-2, and Folin made it 4-3 on a redirection of a shot from Andy Andreoff at 13:05.

Video: LAK@TBL: Folin pots slapper off two Lightning players

"We killed the entire second period, so I was actually shocked at how good of a third we had because we were all gassed," Doughty said. "I think we killed about nine minutes in the second, something like that, and you could see how tired the guys were from killing, so I was shocked at how well we played in the third, but I'm not shocked at the same time because this team has a lot of resilience."

Vasilevskiy made a glove save on a tip from Adrian Kempe with 1:09 remaining before stopping Doughty as time expired. Doughty's shot came after Kopitar won a face-off in the right circle. 

"Thank God for [Vasilevskiy]," Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman said. "He definitely pulled this one out for us. And that's not the way it should be going into a third period with the lead we had. Depending on him that much, that's not fair and it's not good enough."


Goal of the game

Killorn's breakaway goal at 9:45 of the first period.

Video: LAK@TBL: Killorn exits penalty box, beats Kuemper


Save of the game

Vasilevskiy's last-second save on Doughty.

Video: LAK@TBL: Vasilevskiy stones Doughty in final seconds


Highlight of the game

Vasilevskiy's glove save on Kopitar at 8:35 of the first period.

Video: LAK@TBL: Vasilevskiy makes crazy behind-the-back save


They said it

"You just got to get it off as quick as possible. I tried to go blocker side and I had to get it through a couple of the guys, too, and that part was just kind of luck because I don't have time to pick up my head and see where I'm shooting it. The goalie didn't see it either, he just got lucky on the save. He was in good position so not completely lucky." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on his last-second shot

"I just coached in the NHL All-Star Game and saw the best of the best do some remarkable things, and that save topped it. That puts you in awe, that one." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Vasilevskiy's behind-the-back save


Need to know

Former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier had his No. 4 jersey retired in a pre-game ceremony. ... Paquette was a late addition to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past four games. ... The Kings have outscored their opponents 72-34 in the third period this season. ... Stamkos had his 18th multipoint game of the season.


What's next

Kings: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Lightning: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NHL Network, TVAS, TSN4, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Vasilevskiy, Bolts top Kings on banner night, 4-3

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