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Lightning score eight to help Vasilevskiy set record

Goalie makes 18 saves against Panthers for ninth straight win, longest streak in Tampa Bay history

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 18 saves to tie an NHL record with his 10th win in the month of October when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Florida Panthers 8-5 at BB&T Center on Monday.

Vasilevskiy also set a Tampa Bay record with his ninth consecutive victory.

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Panthers highlights]

 

"He's really good," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "This is when you have to win games. He's going to say he probably didn't have his best night, but more often than not, he's our best player every single night. It was good for us to be able to pick [him] up. Normally, he's not giving up five, but the biggest stat you can have is winning games and he's doing that."

Vasilevskiy tied the NHL record set by Manny Legace with the Detroit Red Wings in 2005-06 and matched by Craig Anderson with the Colorado Avalanche in 2009-10.

Video: TBL@FLA: Vasilevskiy turns away Yandle's wrister

Nikita Kucherov scored his League-leading 13th goal and Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist for the Lightning (10-2-1).

The game was tied 3-3 in the second period before Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde scored 2:21 apart for Tampa Bay, which set a franchise record for most points through 13 games (21).

Tampa Bay bounced back from its only regulation loss since Oct. 7, a 4-1 loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

Video: TBL@FLA: Palat pots a great dish from Point

"This was a game where we wanted to get back to what was successful in previous games," Stamkos said. "Regardless of the five goals given up, I didn't think we were poor defensively. It was a couple of tough bounces, but it was a good rebound game."

Brayden Point, Vladislav Namestnikov, Palat, Gourde and Kucherov each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. Anton Stralman scored an empty-net goal with 18.6 seconds left.

Aleksander Barkov had a goal and three assists for the Panthers (4-6-1), and linemates Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov each had a goal and two assists. Aaron Ekblad and Jamie McGinn also scored.

Video: TBL@FLA: Barkov rips one-timer past Vasilevskiy

"We scored a couple of goals, but it doesn't matter right now," Barkov said. "This is a team game. It doesn't matter how many goals you score. If you lose, you get zero points. That's all that matters."

James Reimer, making his fifth consecutive start with Roberto Luongo out with a hand injury, made 14 saves before being pulled after Gourde's goal at 9:38 of the second period. Antti Niemi replaced him and made 16 saves.

"Overall, I don't think we played well, right from me on out," Reimer said. "Everyone takes responsibility from it and you move on. You don't like to lose, and you don't like to lose like that."

Video: TBL@FLA: Gourde redirects shot for power-play goal

 

Goal of the game

Kucherov's goal at 4:55 of the first period.

Video: TBL@FLA: Kucherov goes top shelf on Reimer

 

Save of the game

Niemi's stop on Tyler Johnson on a breakaway with 2:45 left in the second period.

Video: TBL@FLA: Niemi makes huge pad save on Johnson

 

Highlight of the game

Stamkos' power-play goal at 14:40 of the first period.

Video: TBL@FLA: Stamkos fires scorching power-play goal

 

They said it

"They're a strong team. We tried to slow them down as much as we could and I think we did that. It doesn't reflect the way we played giving up five, but maybe we shouldn't have had eight either." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

 

"We accepted too much from a real good team. We know they're one of the best teams, if not the best team offensively in the NHL. We didn't come out with enough urgency. We didn't have enough guys going tonight. You can't win against Tampa Bay if you've only got one line going and a couple of guys in the back end. It's a lesson learned, hopefully." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner

 

Need to know

Tampa Bay has won two of three games against Florida this season. The teams have combined for 30 goals in those games. … Point has seven points in three games against Florida this season. … After using 11 forwards and seven defensemen the previous 10 games, Tampa Bay used 12 forwards and six defensemen. "We're not stuck to anything, we coach to win games," Cooper said. "We put lineups in to win games, what 20 guys are going tonight and how we're going to play them. We felt in different areas we could use some help, but it was faceoffs and balancing the lines and things like that and fortunately it worked out." … Niemi made his first appearance for the Panthers since being claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 24. … The Panthers, who are 2-5-1 in their past eight games, held a players-only meeting after the game.

 

What's next

Lightning: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, MSG, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lightning offense erupts in 8-5 win vs. Panthers

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