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game recap

Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Avalanche

Goalie makes 22 saves; MacKinnon, Rantanen streaks end for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves to help the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

The shutout was Vasilevskiy's first of the season and 13th of his NHL career. Nine of his shutouts have come on the road, one behind Ben Bishop's Lightning record.

"He was seeing the puck," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "He was great. He was making plays and coming out of the net and making the plays. He was seeing everything and seeing his rebounds.

"That was a good one. It was just fun to be a part of and have the seat that I have to watch it."


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Avalanche highlights]


Avalanche forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen didn't have a point, ending their season-opening streaks at nine games. They share the Colorado record with defenseman John-Michael Liles, who did it in 2010-11.

"We were battling hard, but they played a really good game," Rantanen said. "Give them credit. There are some things we could have done better, but it's over."

Nikita Kucherov scored the only goal of the game on the power-play goal at 6:24 of the third period. Steven Stamkos passed across to Kucherov in the right circle for a shot that went inside the near post. It was Kucherov's third goal of the season and 150th of his NHL career, tying Brad Richards for fourth on Tampa Bay's all-time list.

"Felt good," Kucherov said. "[Stamkos] is a skilled player. He's definitely able to do these plays. When everybody expects him to shoot, it makes it easier for us to get open. All I had to do was get open. I was sure he would make it. He's a star in this league and it's just fun to watch."

Video: TBL@COL: Kucherov finishes give-and-go with Stamkos

Stamkos, who had four shots on goal, drew enough attention to leave Kucherov open.

"I had a couple of quality shots before, so I knew eventually guys are going to have to respect my shot there," Stamkos said. "From my knowledge I haven't seen a replay but it felt like everyone came right to me and [Kucherov] was wide open. Anytime I can get it to him in that area I'm going to give it to him every time. He does what he does best; he shot it and he scored and that was a game-winner."

The Lightning (6-1-1) have gone 2-0-1 in the first three games of a five-game road trip and are 5-0-1 in their past six games.

Video: TBL@COL: Vasilevskiy gets piece of Landeskog's shot

Semyon Varlamov had 23 saves for the Avalanche (6-2-2), who had their three-game winning streak end.

MacKinnon appeared to extend his point streak at 11:11 of the first period when he passed to Gabriel Landeskog for an apparent goal, but it was overturned following a coach's challenge when it was determined Tyson Jost was offside.

"That's not where the game was won or lost," said Landeskog, whose five-game point streak ended. "It would've been nice with a first-period goal, but we moved on and kept playing. We had other chances to score."

Said Cooper: "It was a pretty huge break in the sense that they had a pretty good jump in the first period."

Video: TBL@COL: Varlamov gets help from Kerfoot after save


They said it

"Probably as exciting a 0-0 game as there's been. Usually it's pretty boring when no one scores. Both goaltenders played well. Both teams have some pretty dynamic offensive players that can create something." -- Lightning forward Steven Stamkos

"It's a hard-fought game all the way through. We had enough scoring chances to win the hockey game, in my opinion, and they score one on the power play and that's the game. I'd expect nothing less from our group than the compete [level] that we showed today. We can compete with the best teams in the League. I think we've shown that we belong in the top group this year." -- Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog


Need to know

The Lightning killed all four power plays and have killed 32 of 33 penalties this season. … Kucherov has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a six-game point streak. It's the second-longest active streak behind in the NHL Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes, who has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in nine games … Rantanen had 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in his streak. ... MacKinnon had 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his streak. … The Avalanche had gone 51 consecutive home games without being shut out since a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on March 5, 2017.


What's next

Lightning: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday (6 p.m. ET; TVAS, ATTSN-RM, SUN, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Ottawa Senators on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Video: Vasilevskiy, Kucherov lead Lightning to 1-0 win

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