Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning Hold off Hurricanes to Win Game 2, Take 2-0 Series Lead

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2021

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Andrei Vasilevskiy has turned the Carolina Hurricanes into a gentle breeze. 

The star goalie made 31 saves on 32 shots in Tuesday's Game 2, again stymying the Hurricanes en route to a 2-1 Lightning victory and a 2-0 series lead for the defending champions. Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli each scored for Tampa. 

Andrei Svechnikov's goal with just 1:30 remaining in the game made for a dramatic finish, but the Lightning held on for the win. 

Vasilevskiy was pretty darn good in Tampa's Game 1 win, too, saving 37 of Carolina's 38 shots in the 2-1 win. 

Dimitri Filipovic @DimFilipovic

Andrei Vasilevskiy so far this postseason (via NST):<br><br>•8 games <br>•.939 overall save %<br>•.953 5v5 save %<br>•+6.6 goals saved above expected <br>•Stopped 68 of 76 high danger shots <br>•Stopped 107 of last 109 shots faced

Saad Yousuf @SaadYousuf126

What the hell is Andrei Vasilevskiy because it sure ain't human

Sara Civ @SaraCivian

Vasilevskiy's rebound control could single-handedly prevent hot girl summer

The Hurricanes outshot the Lightning 32-15, outhit them 38-29 and won more faceoffs (31-29). In almost every facet of the game, they dominated. But Tampa's defense was excellent in front of Vasilevskiy, blocking 16 shots, while Carolina had 23 giveaways in the loss. 

Oh, and there was the 2-1 advantage in goals for Tampa, too. 

The Lightning made the most of their limited opportunities. Killorn opened the scoring in the second period with a missile of a wrister:

NHL on NBC Sports @NHLonNBCSports

Alex Killorn gets the icebreaker, and the @TBLightning watch party at Amalie is loving it! #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/0uZfFEaLEf

A bad giveaway by the Hurricanes set up Cirelli for Tampa's second goal in the third period, a lead that looked impenetrable with Vasilevskiy in net. 

NHL on NBC Sports @NHLonNBCSports

THE BACKHAND SCORE.<br><br>Anthony Cirelli doubles the lead for the @TBLightning. #StanleyCup // NBCSN pic.twitter.com/ixDYvj1EEJ

But Andrei Svechnikov gave the Hurricanes some hope in the dying moments, cutting the deficit in half: 

Michael Smith @MSmithCanes

Carolina wins a couple battles behind the net, and Jordan Staal centers to Andrei Svechnikov to give the #Canes life late pic.twitter.com/3YhEcUIa86

The Hurricanes spent the remainder of the game pestering the Tampa net with the 6-5 advantage after Alex Nedeljkovic, but couldn't find a goal to send the game to overtime. 

When you're trying to beat Vasilevskiy, dramatic, game-tying goals are hard to come by. 

Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL

Steven Stamkos said the 3rd period was Tampa Bay's best period of the game, leaned on their "rock" Andrei Vasilevskiy and the PK came up huge. "Just another solid effort." Coming home with two road wins is "icing on the cake." #Bolts #TBLvsCAR

Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL

Andrei Vasilevskiy said the Game 2 win was one of the best games the #Bolts have played so far this postseason. "Just a great effort by our group." #TBLvsCAR

Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL

Vasilevskiy said the #Bolts fed off the Carolina crowd, even though it was against them. "We didn't see crowds like that in a year." Lightning have been road warriors this postseason going 4-1 away from AMALIE Arena. #TBLvsCAR

"If you'd said we were going to go to Carolina and not give up a 5-on-5 goal through two games, I'd take that all day," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told reporters

The series now heads to Tampa Bay, with Game 3 on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and broadcast on USA. If the Hurricanes can't muster a road win, their season is over. 

Hurricanes fans will be hoping the first two games were simply the calm before the storm. Vasilevskiy will have something to say about that. 


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