RECAP: Andrei Vasilevskiy’s third straight shutout lifts Tampa Bay Lightning over Dallas Stars

Mar 2, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (2) is tripped up by Tampa Bay Lightning center Barclay Goodrow (19) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his third consecutive shutout, Ondrej Palat scored a power-play goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning opened a six-game road trip with a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

In stopping all 28 shots, Vasilevskiy extended his shutout streak to 200-plus minutes. Because he also blanked Dallas in Game 6 of last year’s Stanley Cup Final to clinch the title, then held the Stars scoreless Saturday and Tuesday, he became the first Lightning goalie ever to shut out the same team three times in a row (regular season and playoffs).

Vasilevskiy notched the 24th regular-season shutout of his career. He earned the league’s First Star of the Week on Monday after holding the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas scoreless last week in home wins.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Lightning, check out #TBLightning rumors, rankings, and news here.

Yanni Gourde scored into an empty net and Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Blake Coleman registered assists for the Lightning, who won their fifth straight and hold a 10-game point streak (7-0-3) against the Stars.

After being pulled in his last outing, Anton Khudobin returned in goal and stopped 17 of 18 shots for the Stars, who opened their six-game homestand by slipping to 1-6-3 in their past 10.

Defenseman Andrej Sekera was out of the Dallas lineup due to a non-COVID-19-related illness. Joel Hanley drew in for Sekera and made his seventh appearance of the season.

The second straight matchup between last season’s Stanley Cup finalists started exactly as it did Saturday in Florida — with Tampa Bay reasserting its prowess on special teams.

Palat, who netted the first marker Saturday on the man advantage in a 5-0 Lightning win, was at again on the first power play Tuesday. He ripped in his ninth goal from the right circle just 10 seconds into the power play at 7:29.

Dallas, which went 0-for-6 with an extra man Saturday, finished 0-for-3 on the power play Tuesday.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Stars, check out #GoStars rumors, rankings, and news here.

The teams loosed up a bit in a second period that featured a breakneck pace with five-on-five play driving the action through the neutral zone.

Vasilevskiy used the inside of his blocker to stop Jamie Benn’s wrister from the right circle — that eventually clanked away off the far post — with just over 10 minutes remaining in the frame.

Though neither team scored in the second, Dallas bettered its play in front of Vasilevskiy and on the penalty kill, thwarting both man advantages by the Lightning.

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Tampa Bay killed two more Dallas power plays in the third while the Stars killed off Nick Caamano’s double-minor penalty for high sticking. Gourde’s empty-netter with five seconds left clinched the win.

–Field Level Media