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Vasilevskiy, Lightning sweeps Panthers to reach East Finals

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 49 saves to help the Tampa Bay Lightning wrap up a four-game win over the Florida Panthers with a 2-0 win in Game 4 of their second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Monday night.

Vasilevskiy stopped 151 of 154 shots, including the last 88, in four games for the two-time Stanley Cup champions. He has recorded shutouts in six of his last seven wins in the playoffs.

Pat Maroon broke a goalless tie for Tampa Bay in the third half, where two goals were waved off on ratings in the second. Ondrej Palat added an empty goal in the last 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 did not make it past the second round of the playoffs for the seventh straight year.

Maroon’s goal was set up by Lightning defender Zach Bogosian, who stopped the puck in front of the blue line and fired a shot high at Bobrovsky.

Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes a sav
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 151 of 154 shots in the Panthers’ lightning sweep.
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The puck popped in the air and Maroon reached over Bobrovsky and hit a blade before Bobrovsky returned to the bouncing puck and threw it over the goal line.

Palat, called at 2:30 for a delayed game, 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 slapped a Mikhail Sergachev shot.

NHL
The Lightning celebrate their win over the Panthers.
NHLI via Getty Images

The Panthers claimed the puck bounced off the net over the corner just before the goal and play should have been stopped.

After a long review, officials agreed and denied the gate.

Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov then appeared to score with 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 that Cirelli used his glove to pass the puck to Kucherov and the game should have been stopped for a hand pass.

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Pat Maroon
USA TODAY sports

After another check, the referees waved away from the goal.

Florida beat the Lightning 18-3 in the scoreless first period.

Vasilevskiy made five saves on a power play in the last minute of the first period to keep the game goalless.

The Panthers missed three power plays to finish 1:31 with man advantage in the playoffs.

Florida center Joe Thornton, 42, was playing 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.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/23/vasilevskiy-lightning-sweep-panthers-to-reach-east-final/ Vasilevskiy, Lightning sweeps Panthers to reach East Finals

JOE HERNANDEZ

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