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Vasilevskiy stops 36 shots as Lightning beat Bruins 3-2 in Marchand's 1,000th game

Tue, Feb 13, 2024
NHL News (AP)

Vasilevskiy stops 36 shots as Lightning beat Bruins 3-2 in Marchand's 1,000th game

BOSTON (AP) - Brad Marchand almost had the perfect ending for his 1,000th career NHL game.

The Bruins captain had two assists in regulation and almost scored the game-winner in overtime, but Andrei Vasilevskiy deflected the shot high and then stopped all three Boston attempts in the shootout to deliver a 3-2 victory for Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

"He made an incredible save. That's why he's one of the top goalies in the league," Marchand said. "I thought I put it in a great spot to get it, but he showed why he's one of the best."

Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots and Brayden Point scored the only goal of the shootout for Tampa Bay. Nikita Kucherov and Erik Cernak scored early to spot the Lightning a 2-0 lead just 21 minutes into the game.

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Charlie McAvoy and James van Riemsdyk scored for the reigning Presidents Trophy-winning Bruins, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference despite losing three of their last four games. Linus Ullmark stopped 23 shots for Boston, but he knocked Point's shot into the net with his stick after deflecting it in the air with his glove.

Marchand is the eighth player in franchise history to reach the milestone, and the Bruins said they will honor him with a ceremony before Monday's game against Dallas. He confessed to getting emotional during the national anthem.

"I really was trying to try to block it out, for the most part," he said. "But those moments, things that happened through the night, you do try to embrace them."

The achievement was recognized with a video during a first-period break. The crowd gave Marchand a standing ovation, both teams tapped their sticks, and even referee Tom Chmielewski clapped for the Bruins captain's milestone.

"Anytime you see a guy play a thousand games, that's an incredible milestone for anybody," Point said. "He plays hard, and he's won, he's played Olympics and World Cups and all those things. So, phenomenal player, and he's definitely got a lot of respect around the league, that's for sure."

The Lightning took the lead three minutes into the game when Ullmark made the initial save on Cernak's shot, drawing a whistle. After the puck trickled through the goalie's pads, McAvoy took a swipe at it to keep it out - but missed - and it continued on.

Replays showed it barely cleared the goal line, and since it was continuous action, the goal counted. Tampa Bay made it 2-0 just a minute into the second when Kucherov cleaned up a rebound on a power play and slammed it past Ullmark.

But the Bruins cut the deficit to one goal just 58 seconds later when McAvoy's wrister from the point got past Vasilevskiy. Boston tied it later in the second when Ullmark was off for a delayed penalty and van Riemsdyk poked the rebound of Marchand's shot through the goalie's legs.

UP NEXT

Lightning: Host Colorado on Thursday.

Bruins: Host Seattle on Thursday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL

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