TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – He has stopped 381 shots on net in 11 playoff games this season and has won 8 of those playoff games. Consequently, Andrei Vasilevskiy has helped the Tampa Bay Lightning advance to the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the New York Islanders.
“He is a gamer,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “He is a proud goalie. He holds himself accountable.”
Vasilevskiy has the second highest save percentage in the postseason behind Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens despite losing the first game of the current series. He stopped 29 shots and allowed two goals in that game.
“He works, he prepares and, if anything, what goes on with our team, we win as a team and we lose as a team,” said Cooper.
The Lightning have not lost back-to-back games in the postseason since the 2019 season when they lost four straight games to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“We got a pretty proud team,” said Cooper, “pretty driven to win and this group has shown a way to adapt. They have just shown this ability to dig their heels in and I will expect no different. I cannot sit here and say what the result is going to be but I know you will get a hell of an effort from our guys.”
That effort, arguably, hinges on the effort of the man in the net, Andrei Vasilevskiy.
“I think, in order to be an elite goaltender, you have to be able to turn the page. You have to go about your job and that is what he does,” said Cooper. “He is not rattled and he comes in today and he goes about his business, knows exactly then the game time is tomorrow, and is going to have himself prepared for that. We have won six playoffs series in a row and Vasy has been a huge part of that. I expect him to be the same way in this series.”
The Lightning will face the Islanders in Game 2 of this series at Amalie Arena on Tuesday at 8 p.m.