TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy set an NHL record for wins in a calendar year, Steven Stamkos picked up his 900th career point and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Thursday night.
Vasilevskiy made 25 saves to get his 63rd win in 2021 regular-season and playoff games. He broke the record of 62, established by Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in 2009.
“Vasy had to make some big saves when they had their chances,” Stamkos said.
Stamkos and Martin St. Louis (953) are the only Tampa Bay players to reach 900 points. The star center is also the 118th NHL player to accomplish the feat.
“It’s something I’m very proud of,” Stamkos said. “Anytime you can do anything like that at home in a win in front of your fans, friends and family, it’s that much more special.”
Victor Hedman had a goal and an assist, and Alex Killorn also scored for the Lightning, who lost 4-0 at Ottawa last Saturday.
Tampa Bay, playing without injured top forwards Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point and defenseman Erik Cernak, is 7-1-1 over the last nine games.
“We kind of joked, we’re the Tampa Bay find-a-ways,” Stamkos said. “We just find a way to win, find a way to get points.”
Ottawa’s Anton Forsberg made a number of strong stops among his 25 saves. He recorded his first career shutout in Saturday’s win over Tampa Bay.
The Senators, who had won five of six, got a goal from Thomas Chabot.
“Obviously it stings; we want to win,” Chabot said. “We feel good about our game right now. This is a team that has won back-to-back Stanley Cups and you see why. I think we battled to the end and had our chances all the way.”
Stamkos reached the milestone at 15:05 of the second period when he assisted on Hedman’s power-play goal that put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1.
Chabot picked up the puck in the neutral zone, came in from the left wing and lifted a shot over Vasilevskiy 15:43 into the game. The defenseman ended his 27-game goal drought.
Ottawa defenseman Nikita Zaitsev left in the first period with a lower-body injury.
“You’re playing five D in their building against all the players that they have. Makes it real tough, but in saying that the D did a really nice job,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said.
Chabot played a total of 30:05 over 35 shifts.
Kucherov (lower body), who has missed 26 games, is increasing his skating level at practice and could be back in a few weeks. Point (upper body) is also practicing and might return by the end of December.
Chabot has a career-high six-game point streak (nine points). … Senators right wing Drake Batherson had his six-game point streak (two goals, 10 assists) snapped, and center Josh Norris saw his run of a goal in three straight games end. … Tampa Bay, which had allowed five power-play goals over the previous three games, held Ottawa scoreless on two man-advantage chances. … The Lightning went 1 for 5 on the power play.
Senators: Play on Saturday night at Philadelphia.
Lightning: Start a three-game trip Saturday night at Colorado.
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