Lightning rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy doesn’t get many opportunities playing behind star Ben Bishop, but the young Russian made people take note of him Tuesday with a spectacular toe save on Predators veteran Mike Ribeiro.
Rookie Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has just seven games of NHL experience under his belt, and he’s playing behind star Ben Bishop, who at age 28 is in his prime and has many productive seasons ahead. So the 20-year-old Vasilevskiy has to make the most of his opportunities. And although he didn’t ultimately come away from Tuesday’s game between Tampa Bay and Nashville, the Russian made a spectacular toe save on veteran Mike Ribeiro fans on both teams are likely to remember for quite some time.
The play took place during a scoreless tie with less than six minutes left in the first period: Ribeiro picks up a rebound directly in front of Tampa’s net, but Vasilevskiy juts out his left leg just enough to get his toe on the puck and prevent the game’s first goal:
One of the reasons the Bolts said goodbye to veteran netminder Evgeni Nabokov in a trade with the San Jose Sharks Monday was the ascent of Vasilevskiy, and we saw an example of what the team sees in him Tuesday night. The Lightning wound up losing 3-2 in overtime to the Preds, but Vasilevskiy’s stop on Ribeiro was a key reason Tampa got a point on the road.