Vasilevskiy makes 44 saves, Lightning beat Kings 4-3

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 44 saves, Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist, and the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 Saturday night.

Tampa Bay also got goals from Alex Killorn, Cedric Paquette and Nikita Kucherov.

Jonny Brodzinski, Kyle Clifford and Christian Folin scored for the Kings, who nearly came back from a three-goal deficit entering the third period. Jonathan Quick stopped 13 of 14 shots after replacing Darcy Kuemper early in the second.

The Lightning retired Vincent Lecavalier’s No. 4 during a pregame ceremony. Lecavalier, who tops the franchise list for game played (1,037) and goals (383), joined Martin St. Louis as the only Tampa Bay players to have their jerseys retired.

After Stamkos scored 65 seconds into the game, Los Angeles tied it at 1 on its first shot by Brodzinski at 5:02 of the first.

Vasilevskiy then stopped 17 straight shots over the rest of the period, including a spectacular save on Anze Kopitar when he put his glove behind his back.

Killorn made it 2-1 on a breakaway off a Stamkos pass right after serving an interference penalty.

Paquette put the Lightning up 3-1 at 3:12 of the second when his backhander from behind the net went in off Kuemper’s left leg. Kuemper departed after giving up three goals on 14 shots.

Los Angeles right wing Dustin Brown received a five-minute kneeing penalty and a game misconduct for a hit on Tampa Bay rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, who returned for the third.

Kucherov scored on the ensuing power play.

Clifford scored 3:17 into the third before Folin cut the deficit to 4-3 with 6:55 remaining. Vasilevskiy turned aside 18 third-period shots, making a big save at the buzzer on Drew Doughty.

NOTES: Kings C Trevor Lewis, hurt in Friday’s game at Florida when he was checked into the boards, returned to Los Angeles to be examined by team doctors. … Tampa Bay has outscored its opponent 75-45 in the second period.

UP NEXT

Lightning: Visits Toronto Monday night.

Kings: Plays at Carolina Tuesday night.

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