Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Predators 3-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Ross Colton, Austin Cernak and Yanni Gourde scored for Tampa Bay, which has won two straight and four of its last six.

Pekka Rinne made 31 saves as Nashville snapped its three-game winning streak.

Tampa Bay has won six of the seven head-to-head matchups with the Predators this season, including all three played in Nashville so far. The teams complete their season series here Tuesday night.

The shutout was the fourth of the season for Vasilevskiy and the 25th of his NHL career.

Vasilevskiy had to be sharp early, as Nashville peppered him with 18 shots in the first period. He denied back-to-back shots from Rocco Grimaldi from close range with just over 6:00 remaining in the period. He also made three saves on a late Nashville power play to keep the game 1-0 going into the first intermission.

Colton scored the game’s first goal at 6:45 of the opening period. Gourde took a long head-man pass from Mikhail Sergachev at the blue line and skated to the right circle. There he spun and sent a pass to Colton in the slot, where he made a quick move before slipping the puck between Rinne’s pads with a backhand.

Cernak made it 2-0 at 14:04 of the second. From the high slot, Cernak’s wrist shot first deflected off the stick of Nashville’s Mikael Granlund then the leg of Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis before going past a helpless Rinne on the stick side.

Gourde added an empty-net goal in the game’s final minute.


Colton’s first period goal extended his scoring streak to three games. Saturday was the Tampa Bay rookie’s 15th career NHL game and the goal was his seventh. This is his first three-game scoring streak. Colton has scored in five of his last six games.


With Predators goaltender Juuse Saros playing so well, Rinne has not seen much action lately. Rinne made just his third start since March 21. Prior to Saturday, Rinne had won his previous three starts.


The injury-plagued Predators saw one player return to the lineup Saturday. Ellis, who missed the last 20 games with an upper-body injury, played for the first time since Feb. 28.

Ellis appeared to tie the game at a goal apiece early in the second, but Tampa Bay challenged the goal and a video review determined the play to be offside.


Lightning: At Nashville on Tuesday night.

Predators: Host the Dallas Stars on Sunday.