Vasilevskiy weeks away from returning to lightning


COVERAndrei Vasilevskiy He still has a few weeks left to return to the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup after breaking his left foot during his November 14 practice, coach Jon Cooper said on Thursday.

Vasisovskiy, 2018 Vezina Trophy finalist, has missed the last 11 Tampa Bay games. The original recovery time of his injury is 4 to 6 weeks.

"When he starts skating here we'll know a bit more, but in the end, even when he gets on the ice, there's still a long process after that," Cooper said. "So we're just getting closer."

Backup Goalkeeper Louis Domingue competently filled Vasilevsky's absence. He is 11-4-0 with a saving percentage of 900 and has won eight of the 10 matches since Vasilevskiy's injury. Domingue is expected to play when Lightning hosts the Boston Bruins at the Amalie Arena on Thursday (7:30 p.m., TVAS, SUN, NESN, NHL.TV). In the only game that Domingue did not start, Edward Pasquale , 28, making his NHL debut, clinched a win when Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-5 in a shootout on Tuesday.

Defender Anton Stralman also remains out with an injury to the upper body. He has missed the last 13 games and is awaiting another re-evaluation.

"Nothing yet," Cooper said. "We're still playing the waiting game."

Defender Ryan McDonagh said the injuries made Lightning put additional emphasis on defense.

"It's not like you necessarily change your game plan or something, or play differently in front of any goalkeeper," he said. "But we're definitely focusing on the defensive side and not giving up on strange looks."


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