Andrei Vasilevskiy made 49 saves to help the Tampa Bay Lightning complete a four-game sweep of the visiting Florida Panthers with a 2-0 win in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs second-round series on Monday night.
Vasilevskiy stopped 151 of 154 shots in the four games for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, including the last 88. He has recorded shutouts in six of his past seven series-clinching playoff wins.
Pat Maroon broke a scoreless tie in the third period for Tampa Bay, which had two goals waved off following reviews in the second. Ondrej Palat added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves for the Panthers, who had the best record in the NHL during the regular season. The Presidents’ Trophy winner failed to advance past the second round of the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year.
Maroon’s goal was set up by Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian, who stopped the puck in front of the blue line and flicked a shot up high at Bobrovsky.
The puck popped in the air and Maroon reached over Bobrovsky, getting a blade on it before Bobrovsky backed into the bouncing puck and knocked it across the goal line.
Palat, who had been called for delay of game with 2:30 remaining, came out of the box and scored with 23 seconds left.
Alex Killorn appeared to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead at 8:44 of the second period when he tipped in a slap shot from Mikhail Sergachev.
The Panthers claimed the puck had glanced off the netting above the corner just prior to the goal and play should have been stopped.
Following a long review, officials agreed and disallowed the goal.
Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov then appeared to score on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle two seconds after teammate Anthony Cirelli won a faceoff in the Florida zone.
However, the Panthers challenged again, claiming Cirelli used his glove to pass the puck to Kucherov and play should have been stopped because of a hand pass.
After another review, the referees waved off the goal.
Florida outshot the Lightning 18-3 in the scoreless first period.
Vasilevskiy made five saves during a power play in the final minute of the first period to keep the game scoreless.
The Panthers didn’t capitalize on three power plays to finish 1-for-31 with the man advantage in the playoffs.
Florida center Joe Thornton, 42, played in his 187th NHL playoff game. Only former San Jose Sharks teammate Patrick Marleau has appeared in more playoff games (195) without winning a Stanley Cup.
–Field Level Media