After a rare weekend without any game action, the Tampa Bay Lightning opened the month of November by handing the Washington Capitals their first regulation loss on the season. Tampa Bay has now won three games in a row and both games this year against the Capitals.
These two teams played a tight contest just over two weeks ago in Washington. This one was once again decided by just a single goal as the Lightning came out ahead 3-2 without needing overtime to decide things this time around.
1. Vasilevskiy’s Big Night for 300
Monday night marked Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 300th career start and he did not disappoint. He made 31 saves on 33 shots. Among all the pucks sent his way, Vasilevskiy faced six from the NHL’s leading goal scorer, Alex Ovechkin. Washington brings one of the most dangerous attacks in the league and Vasilevskiy was up to the task time after time to help his club secure the win.
2.Killer Stays Hot
Last week, Alex Killorn was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week after scoring four goals and dishing out two assists. Killorn picked up the new week right where he left off. He potted Tampa Bay’s first goal of the night by working his way to the front of the net and pounced on a loose puck with a backhand shot. Killorn’s second goal in three games would tie things at 1-1.
3. Cirelli’s Big Night
Anthony Cirelli was all over the scoresheet. He factored in on all three Lightning goals and ended with a three-point night. On top of racking up a few points, Cirelli also led all Lightning forwards in ice time with 21:44 on the night. The pile of minutes shows the trust the Lightning have in him playing in all situations. Cirelli is usually the only Lightning forward to see action on both the penalty kill and powerplay. He can do it all, any way you like it.
Ever since the injury to Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning powerplay has struggled. Along the way they have tried several different combinations with their top unit. The number one unit finally connected in the second period on a 5-on-3 goal from Cirelli. The biggest difference with this unit was giving Alex Barre-Boulet a shot in Kucherov’s right circle spot. Barre-Boulet was given the primary assist on the goal after throwing the puck to the dangerous area in front of the net which eventually found Cirelli.
5. Transition Offense
The game’s biggest turning point came early in the third period. Following an outstanding stop by Vasilevskiy on Washington’s Connor McMichael, Brayden Point shortly scored what would be the game winning goal. The big stop helped get the Lightning out of danger and let them live another shift. Seconds after the save, Cirelli forced a turnover that would eventually lead to Point converting on a breakaway. Taylor Raddysh helped spring the break for what would result in his first point in the NHL.