Andrei Vasilevskiy smoother in net to start Game 3

Lightning goaltender looks sharp, makes his usual saves again, early in the first period.
DIRK SHADD  |   TimesTampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stretches just prior to the start of the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Friday, April 12, 2019 in Tampa.
DIRK SHADD | TimesTampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) stretches just prior to the start of the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Friday, April 12, 2019 in Tampa.
Published April 14

COLUMBUS — Andrei Vasilevskiy looks like Andrei Vasilevskiy.

It’s a comforting sight for the Lightning, trailing a series most expected it to handle and playing without Nikita Kucherov or Victor Hedman.

Vasilevskiy made eight saves in the first 10 minutes of the game, a higher number than Tampa Bay would like, but he made them smoothly. It was just how Vasilevskiy looked in his 39 regular-season wins.

The biggest of his early saves came on Josh Anderson, just after a Columbus power play expired. Anderson got a step on both Erik Černák and Ryan McDonagh coming through the slot. He went from backhand to forehand to backhand. Vasilevskiy made the pad save.

The goalie isn’t the only Lightning player looking sharp in the defensive zone early. McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan each blocked a shot on that power play.

Looks like that unit is getting back in order as well.

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