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Lightning's Andrei Vasilevskiy makes save of year candidate in return from 14-game absence  1 Month ago

Source:   USA Today  

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy didn't need long to get back in the groove in his comeback from an injury.

Returning from a 14-game absence, he pulled off a save of the year candidate in Thursday night's 4-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau was the victim of his third-period thievery. First, Vasilevskiy stretched to get his arm on Marleau's backhander. When the puck popped up, landed and started rolling through the crease, he tried to sweep it out of harm's way with his left leg, but the post blocked that effort.

Vasilevskiy then changed gears, reached back with his right leg and somehow pulled the puck back with his skate before it crossed the goal line.

Teammate Victor Hedman then was able to clear it out of the zone.

Any miscalculation would have resulted in a goal. And this was done by a man who broke his left foot four weeks ago.

Vasilevskiy finished with 48 saves, including 23 in the second period, to beat the Maple Leafs and expand the Lightning's lead on their closest Atlantic Division rival.

"I tried to survive the first period, and the second, too," Vasilevskiy told reporters. "They're a good team, played very well and that was a pretty good test for us."

Vasilevskiy improved his record to 10-3-1 with a 2.20 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.

"It doesn't surprise me that he comes back and he's in that kind of form," Lightning forward Ryan Callahan told reporters. "He put in a lot of work to get back as quick as he could and to make sure he was ready. It showed tonight."

Vasilevskiy is no stranger to great saves. In February, he made a no-look, behind-the-back glove save against the Los Angeles Kings' Anze Kopitar. And he made another behind-the-back save two weeks later to seal a shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens.





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