Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning blank Hurricanes, 3-0

TAMPA — The goals came early for the Lightning Tuesday night, and from there, Tampa Bay showed how it could play against the Hurricanes when given a lead.

Tampa Bay won its second straight over Carolina, 3-0 at Amalie Arena, playing one of its strongest defensive games of the season against a Hurricanes team that can give opponents fits with their speed and relentlessness.

The Lightning (12-4-1) matched Carolina’s strengths and shut down the Hurricanes’ buzzing offense. At one point in the second period, Carolina went nine minutes without a shot.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (25 saves) withstood a third-period Carolina charge, recording his first shutout of the season.

In three previous games against the Hurricanes, the Lightning never had a first-period lead. But on Wednesday, they received a quick score from an unlikely source.

Rookie forward Ross Colton became the ninth Lightning player to score in his debut, filling the net 6:43 into the first period.

Defenseman Victor Hedman skated behind the goal and, as he wrapped around the net, flicked the puck toward the paint, where Colton was stationed. Colton beat Carolina goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic to his glove side.

The Lightning’s renewed emphasis on playing more direct was on display for a second straight game, and once they took the lead, they controlled possession throughout.

Tampa Bay’s first two goals came with a forward getting to the net. The second score was artistry, as the Lightning used their…

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