TAMPA — Block the shot or clear the lane. D Ryan McDonagh didn't put it quite so succinctly, but that was the point he got across.
Those were the two options for defensemen as they tried to give G Andrei Vasilevskiy better support against the Blue Jackets in the Lightning's 4-0 win Tuesday.
"We're obviously thinking about (supporting Vasilevskiy) and trying to block as many shots as we can, trying to get in lanes," D Mikhail Sergachev said. "(The Blue Jackets) have a good group of (defensemen) and good forwards who can shoot the puck. We tried to block as many as we can."
The Lightning did a lot that in the win. It blocked 22 shots, led by D Dan Girardi and D Anton Stralman with four apiece. LW Ondrej Palat led the forwards with three, more than you'd expect from a top-line forward not on the penalty kill.
"It's just kind of the way the game shaped up," McDonagh said about the high number of blocked shots. "We have guys that are willing; we know that. Ideally we don't want to give up that many (shot) attempts. But if we have to, it's a good sign that we're in the right lane there, blocking those and helping 'Vasy' out there."
Contact Diana Nearhos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @dianacnearhos.