Ben Bishop to start in rematch with Red Wings
The Lightning will face arguably its toughest test of the young season tonight in an NBCSN-televised showdown with the Red Wings.
And Tampa Bay is going with its No. 1 goalie, Ben Bishop, who will make his fourth consecutive start to start the season. Though this is a back-to-back situation, it's unique, with Monday being a day game in Boston and tonight a 7:30 p.m. start. Bishop said Monday, "(coach Jon Cooper) knows I'll be ready if he needs me."
Tampa Bay will need a strong performance to beat the Red Wings (2-0), whom still have a bitter taste in their mouths after losing in seven games in a thrilling first-round series in April. Detroit, led by new coach Jeff Blashill, a close personal friend of Cooper, the team added veterans Brad Richards and Mike Green in the offseason, as well as touted wing prospect Dylan Larkin.
"I look back at the playoffs and we eeked through that series, and we needed everything we possibly could to get through that series," Cooper said. "They've gone from an extremely good team to give-me-another-adjective. Not only are they a playoff team, they're a division title contender. That's how good they are."
Cooper indicated there may be one slight lineup change tonight, and it appears like it could be on the defensive end. The top four lines have played well in the first three games, 10 different players scoring 13 goals, but Cooper said there may be a player who can't play tonight. Expect Nikita Nesterov to make his season debut if there's a minor injury Tampa Bay is dealing with.
More from today: The Lightning had an optional skate this morning at Joe Louis Arena.... Richards, a former Lightning star, said this summer was a blur, having won the Cup with the Blackhawks, then jetting to Hawaii for his wedding. Richards likes the young dynamic team the Red Wings have, thrilled to join a third Original Six team (already played for the Rangers and Blackhawks). The Lightning has gotten off to slow starts the past two games, something Cooper said they "can't make it a habit."