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Lightning Round: Andrei Vasilevskiy matches franchise points streak record at 16

Vasy meets the mark set by Nikolai Khabibulin in 2003.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last night’s 4-2 Tampa Bay Lightning victory over the Vegas Golden Knights was a goalie win for sure, netting Andrei Vasilevskiy a points streak that equals the one set by Nikolai Khabibulin in 2003. JustinG wrote last night’s QuickCap, and outlined why it was Vasy rather than the rest of the team who deserved the victory:

Quick Cap: Lightning defeat Golden Knights, 4-2 [Raw Charge]

It was the first home game for the Lightning since January 14th and while they won, their play was a bit ragged. While their offense did put up four goals (thanks empty net!) Vegas was the better skating team for most of the night and had most of the good scoring chances. Vasilevskiy was the difference in the game as he made several key stops throughout the night. With the victory he tied Nikolai Khabibulin’s team record of 16 straight games with a point. He hasn’t lost in regulation since December 14th.

Another interesting point that Justin brought up is that Tampa remains undefeated against Pacific teams so far this season. Good.

Here’s what the rest of news media had to say about the victory.

Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy ties franchise goalie record [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

With the victory, Vasilevskiy tied the franchise record for goalie point streaks with his 16th point, a stretch dating back to Dec. 17. He holds a 14-0-2 record in the stint. Nikolai Khabibulin set the record in 2003.

The Lightning closed out a stint against Western Conference teams with a point streak of their own (11 points) and five wins in six games.

Mishkin never pulls his punches, but pointed out that the team won despite being down a defender. Mishkin’s Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Golden Knights 2 [Tampa Bay Lightning]

As well as Vegas played for much of the game, the Lightning conversely struggled. They dealt with puck management issues, which forced them to defend without the puck for long stretches. It was their first home game back after a long road trip (and those can be tricky games to play). Also, an early injury to Jan Rutta forced the Lightning to play with only five defensemen for the bulk of the night.

Last night, the franchise signed a 12-year-old Edmonton native to a one-day contract. Connor Perkins has cystic fibrosis, and the team reached out to him via the Make-A-Wish foundation. [WFLA]

The 12-year-old signed a one-day contract with the team on Tuesday. He skated with them, he passed the puck with Steven Stamkos and he scored a goal on Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Perkins has an exciting night ahead of him too. He will read the starting lineup to the team in the locker room before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights. He will also watch that game from behind the bench.

Neil Pain from FiveThirtyEight wrote a piece exploring the question that is never far from a Lightning fan’s brain: Can The Tampa Bay Lightning Shake Off Last Year’s Playoff Debacle? [538]

If anything, the 2019-20 Lightning — who currently have seven players on pace for at least 50 points — might have superior scoring depth to last season’s squad, which saw only four players crack the 50-point barrier (perhaps making it easier to short-circuit the Lightning’s entire offense when the top line was neutralized). And in the midst of another good season, Vasilevskiy has to be looking forward to a postseason performance more in line with the ones he had in 2015-16 (.925 save percentage) and 2017-18 (.918) than last year’s dreadful showing (.856).

And Patrick Marleau thinks Erik Cernak should be a little more considerate on the ice. Is Bob Boughner correct, though? Is Tampa more physical than in the past, or are the Sharks simply less physical this season?

Sharks’ Patrick Marleau discusses hit by Lightning defenseman [Mercury News]

“I just think that it’s a dangerous play,” Marleau said. “Cross checking somebody when they’re going really fast. Nobody likes falling into the boards.”

“That’s one thing about Tampa. I’ll say this: They’ve changed a little bit to the fact that I think they’re a more physical team than they’ve ever been,” Sharks interim coach Bob Boughner said.

And last but not least, yesterday JustinG called out the Syracuse Crunch for their consistent inconsistency in Crunch Corner.

The only thing that has been consistent this season has been their inconsistency. The skill is there, the experience is there, and I’d like to think the desire to win is there. The biggest problem, and one that coach Ben Groulx has reiterated several times, is that on too many nights the best players haven’t been the best players.

It’s not just one or two players. Almost every top line player has had multiple off nights, games where they are just not visible. They are too talented to have nights where they’re getting skated off the ice by other teams. There are too many shifts where they are blindly throwing the puck around for no particular reason.