Vasilevskiy, Cirelli help Lightning end Capitals’ streak

Sports
Brayden Point, Vitek Vanecek

Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek, of Czech Republic, makes a save against Tampa Bay Lightning’s Brayden Point during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves, Anthony Cirelli had a goal and two assists, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat Washington 3-2 Monday night, ending the Capitals’ eight-game season-opening point streak.

Tampa Bay also got goals from Alex Killorn and Brayden Point. Taylor Raddysh picked up his first NHL point, coming in his eighth game, by assisting on Point’s goal.

The Lightning have won three in a row after an 0-2-1 stretch.

“I’m not sure I was in love with our game tonight,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “They’re finding ways to get points. I liked the way we played after we made it 3-2. We shut the game down.”

Brett Leason got his first NHL goal and Conor Sheary also scored for the the Capitals, who came in 5-0-3. Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 shots.

“We set the bar high,” Washington center Lars Eller said. “We hate losing. It’s an empty feeling right now.”

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin had his season-opening eight-game point streak (nine goals, six assists) end. He remains two goals away from tying Brett Hull (741) for fourth place all-time.

Ovechkin had a shot on goal and two more attempts from the top of the left circle blocked by Erik Cernak during a late first-period power play. He had a drive from the left circle during a 2-on-1 midway through the second stopped by Vasilevskiy.

“Incredible guts,” Point said of Cernak. “Putting his body on the line. That’s amazing,”

Ovechkin finished with six shots on goal.

Killorn and Cirelli had second-period goals as Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead. Point put the the Lightning ahead 3-1 at 2:56 of the third.

Sheary’s power-play goal got Washington to 3-2 with 8:22 left.

Leason scored 1:13 into the game when his shot from the right wing boards was redirected past Vasilevskiy off Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman’s stick. It came in his second game.

Vasilevskiy went post-to-post to make a nifty stop on Tom Wilson in the opening minute of the second period before Killorn tied it at 3:18 to extend his goal streak to four games.

Those are game-changing,” Cooper said of Vasilevskiy’s save.

Cirelli made it 2-1 during a 5-on-3 power play at 8:40 of the second.

“I think for the most part it was a pretty good 60-minute game,” Sheary said. “We gave them the 5-on-3, and they were able to get some momentum off that. But other than that I thought we worked hard and got our chances.”

QUOTABLE

“National Hockey League, full of the best players in the world, and there’s certain players that stand apart,” Cooper said of Ovechkin. “He’s one of them. He’s blessed with size and strength, and that shooter’s mentality. You’re watching a generational talent.”

SCORING SLUMP

Lightning RW Corey Perry had three shots on goal but saw his had goal drought reach 29 straight games. He is pointless in 12.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Capitals: C Nic Dowd (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

Lightning: D Cal Foote (finger surgery) made his season debut.

UP NEXT

Capitals: Wrapup a two-game Sunshine State trip Thursday night at Florida.

Lightning: Play at Toronto Thursday night.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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