Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the visiting Florida Panthers with a 4-0 win in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup first-round playoff series on Wednesday night.
It was the second shutout in 59 postseason starts for Vasilevskiy. The other came on Sept. 28 in the clinching 2-0 victory against the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist, and Pat Maroon, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn also scored for the Lightning, who are trying to become the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cup titles since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017.
Next, the Lightning will face the winner of the first-round series between the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators.
Florida rookie goaltender Spencer Knight made 20 saves in his second consecutive start.
Knight, who turned 20 on April 19, gave up a goal on the first shot he faced for the second straight game.
Unlike in Monday’s 4-1 win in Game 5, when Knight made 36 consecutive saves to help the Panthers stay alive, he wasn’t able to slam the door the rest of the way.
Mikhail Sergachev dumped the puck into the corner and it stayed along the wall behind the Florida net. Tyler Johnson beat Anton Stralman to the puck and backhanded it back out front.
The puck hit the blade of Panthers forward MacKenzie Weegar and lifted in the air, just as Maroon skated by and slapped it past Knight for a 1-0 lead at 6:16 of the first period.
Maroon won a Stanley Cup title with the Lightning last season and with the St. Louis Blues in 2019, becoming the first player since Cory Stillman in 2006 to win back-to-back Stanley Cups with different teams.
The Lightning went on their second power play when Sam Bennett was called for roughing David Savard and they took advantage to move ahead 2-0 at 13:27 of the second period.
Nikita Kucherov fed Victor Hedman in the high slot and he quickly passed to Stamkos in the left circle for the one-timer that beat Knight before he could completely slide over.
Kucherov and Erik Cernak had two assists each for Tampa Bay.
Point zigzagged through the slot and scored from in close with 5:24 left for a 3-0 lead.
Killorn scored into an empty net with 1:42 left to make it 4-0.
–Field Level Media
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