Last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning allowed the Carolina Hurricanes to direct 55 shots at goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Big Cat, resplendent in the new Reverse Retro jersey the team debuted, stopped 52 of them. It’s the second time in his career that he’s been called upon to make more than 50 saves in a regular season game.
Way back on March 20th, 2019 the Washington Capitals fired 58 shots at Vasilevskiy and he stopped 54 of them as the Lightning won the game 5-4 in overtime thanks to a goal from Victor Hedman. Alex Ovechkin was responsible of 11 of those shots but, for one of the few times against the Lightning, he didn’t score.
While Vasilevskiy is the only Tampa goaltender to make 50 saves in a regular season game, three other netminders have faced at least 50 shots in a game.
Ben Bishop made 48 saves on 51 shots in a 5-3 win over the Hurricanes back on January 19th, 2014. Jeff Skinner led the way with 7 shots with every player except Riley Nash registering at least one shot.
Antero Niittymaki stopped 47 of the 50 shots he saw from the Boston Bruins on March 25th, 2010. The Lightning won that game by a score of 5-3 as well despite generating just 18 shots. Steven Stamkos and Paul Szczechura (!) each had two goals. Zdeno Chara paced the Bruins with 7 shots, one of which found the back of the net.
Finally, Dwayne Roloson made 45 saves on 50 San Jose Shark shots on February 16th, 2012. That was a goal-extravaganza as the Lightning won 6-5 in overtime. Martin St. Louis notched his second goal of the game with just 33 seconds left in overtime to secure the victory. Ryan Clowe and Torrey Mitchell led the Sharks with 6 shots that night.
It’s kind of odd that the Lightning have never lost a game in regulation when they’ve allowed more than 50 shots. It’s also weird that they never allowed 50 during those dark days in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they were a less than optimal team. The high water mark during those days was a 45-save-on-48-shots effort by Kevin Weekes in Washington on November 21st, 2001. The Caps won that one 3-2 thanks to a three-point effort from Jaromir Jagr.
Lightning / NHL News:
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Hunter Bogosian Part 2️⃣— Gabby Shirley (@Gabby_Shirley_) November 2, 2022
I completely forget to tell you that he will do *anything* to win a race: pic.twitter.com/CmutsroS0G