Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy

Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy returns, to start against Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will start Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, making his return from a fractured left foot suffered last month.

Thursday’s game (ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET) matches the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

Without Vasilevskiy, who hasn’t played since Nov. 10, Louis Domingue has gone 11-2-0 and has won six straight games for the Atlantic Division-leading Lightning. Edward Pasquale won his only appearance for the Lightning on Dec. 4 as well.

Vasilevskiy, 24, is 9-3-1 with a 2.30 goals-against average in 13 games this season.

“Feels great,” Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said of Vasilevskiy’s return. “He’s been our MVP for a long time. Louis really stepped up, and our guys played great in front of him as well. … We have full belief in any goalie we have, we’re not changing our game just because of that.”

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