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game recap

Vasilevskiy, Lightning defeat Hurricanes in Game 2, extend series lead

Makes 31 saves, Killorn scores fifth of playoffs for Tampa Bay

by Kurt Dusterberg / Independent Correspondent

Vasilevskiy pokes the puck away

TBL@CAR, Gm2: Vasilevskiy makes big poke check save

R2, Gm2: Martin Necas tries to put Sebastian Aho's pass home on the 2-on-1 rush, but Andrei Vasilevsky breaks up the chance with his stick

  • 00:37 •

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves, and the Tampa Bay Lightning extended their lead in the Stanley Cup Second Round with a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 at PNC Arena on Tuesday.

"I feel like we blocked every shot tonight," Vasilevskiy said. "It was just a great effort by our team. It was one of our best games so far in these playoffs."

Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli scored for the Lightning, the No. 3 seed in the Discover Central Division.

Andrei Svechnikov scored, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 13 saves for the Hurricanes, the No. 1 seed.

"Sometimes tonight we didn't get there, but we had lots of good looks, a couple of empty nets we missed," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It was a pretty good game, we played pretty hard. We're playing the best team in the world, going toe to toe. We're not getting overwhelmed. We just didn't get a break. We're doing everything we're trying to do. We just haven't gotten that little breakthrough yet."

Tampa Bay won Game 1 on Sunday, 2-1.

"Guys are on top of each other all over the ice," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It's probably why the scores have been so low, because guys are trying to play offense and trying to do things, but guys are playing defense at a high rate of speed. That's why there's no time and space."

Video: TBL@CAR, Gm2: Killorn flings shot by Nedeljkovic

Teams that take a 2-0 lead on the road are 82-20 (.804) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoffs series, including 2-0 in the first round this season.

Game 3 is at Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Killorn gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 7:09 of the second period. Anthony Cirelli set a screen in the slot, and Killorn scored on a low wrist shot from the point.

Cirelli made it 2-0 at 8:06 of the third period when he scored after Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei whiffed on his attempt to play Victor Hedman's stretch pass at the Carolina blue line.

"Once I saw it was stuck in his feet, I just poked at it," Cirelli said. "My momentum carried me on the backhand to get a little room there, and I was just trying to put one on net."

Video: TBL@CAR, Gm2: Cirelli lifts a backhand to double lead

With Nedeljkovic pulled for the extra attacker, Svechnikov scored from the low slot off a pass from behind the net by Jordan Staal to make it 2-1 with 1:30 remaining.

"I mean, we all know, he's one of the best goalies in the world," Svechnikov said of Vasilevskiy. "It's hard to score against him. But we probably have to put some skin against him and shoot some pucks more and more."

The Hurricanes outshot the Lightning 70-45 in the first two games.

"I don't think there's going to be a lot of pretty passing-play goals in this series," Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. "There's not a lot of room out there offensively on both sides with the way that the teams defend, with the way that the goaltenders are playing. Even special teams tonight, it was more a penalty-kill clinic than a power-play clinic."

Carolina forward Vincent Trocheck sustained an undisclosed injury when he collided with teammate Warren Foegele in the Hurricanes zone with a little more than a minute remaining in the second period. Trocheck returned for one shift in the third before leaving the game.

"It doesn't look good," Brind'Amour said. "I don't know exactly the extent of it at this point, but he obviously couldn't continue, so that's never good. He would play if he could. That's another challenge we're going to have to overcome, but I'll know more tomorrow, hopefully."

NOTES: Teams that take a 2-0 lead are 334-51 (.867) winning a best-of-7 NHL playoff series, including 4-0 in the first round. The Lightning are 7-0. ... Vasilevskiy is the third goalie in Tampa Bay history to allow one or fewer goals in three straight postseason games (Nikolai Khabibulin, 2003; Ben Bishop, 2016). … It was Vasilevskiy's 39th NHL playoff win, tying Khabibulin for most among Russia-born goalies. … Hedman became the seventh defenseman in NHL history with at least 10 assists through the first eight games of a single postseason. … The Hurricanes have allowed the first goal in seven of eight postseason games.

Video: Vasilevskiy, Lightning top Hurricanes for 2-0 lead

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