Tyler Johnson‘s Christmas present came two days early in the form of a hat trick against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. On the Lightning’s Tuesday night game, the young forward scored three goals by the midway mark in the game.

After battling the stomach flu last week that ended his 115-game streak, Johnson returned to the home crowd better than ever – scoring his second career hat trick against the tired Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins saw a 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers the night before, and three players were sent home due to illness. The mumps have been going around the team and Brandon Sutter, Thomas Greiss, and Steve Downie are now being tested for the illness. With the team’s backup goalie being out, the Penguins called up Jeff Zatkoff from Wilkes-Barre. Zatkoff arrived in Florida during the team’s warm ups against the Panthers.

Zatkoff got his chance to play against the Lightning when Coach Mike Johnston pulled Fleury after Nikita Kucherov‘s goal in the second. Zatkoff only let one goal in for the remainder of the 4-3 game.

On Saturday’s game against the Islanders, Ryan Callahan played his 500th game in the 1-3 loss. It is a huge milestone for former Rangers captain, especially since it is the last game Callahan and the team will be playing in the Coliseum. Next season the Islanders move to Barclays Center.

With Ben Bishop being injured, the Lightning called up Andrei Vasilevskiy from the Syracuse Crunch. He got his first nod in the net at home, leading to his first NHL win.

The twenty-year-old has appeared in 14 games with the Crunch and has a 8-3-3 record, a 2.34 goals against average, and a .918 save percentage. The young Russian was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week on December 15 after posting back-to-back shutouts on December 6 vs. Rochester and December 10 at Springfield.

Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 207-pounds, he has shined on the international stage, winning a gold medal for Russia at the 2014 IIHF World Championships. Vasilevskiy has played in the past three IIHF U-20 World Junior Championships, winning a silver medal in 2012 and bronze medals in 2014 and 2013.


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