Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ben Bishop chased as Lightning loses at Islanders

NEW YORK — Goaltender Ben Bishop has been everything to the Lightning this season, its unquestioned MVP, a big reason why he's expected to contend for the Vezina Trophy.

And now there's more pressure on his sturdy 6-foot-7 frame, considering the significant injuries to captain Steven Stamkos and top defenseman Anton Stralman.

But Bishop can't do it all by himself, as evident in Monday's 5-2 loss to the Islanders at the Barclays Center. Bishop was pulled — for just the second time in 60 games this season — after allowing five goals in 23 shots. It was a mercy removal, Bishop having to face four breakaways in the second period alone.

"We didn't think about our net. That's it," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "This had nothing to do with Ben. This had everything to do with the quality of chances we gave up. It's too bad."

The Lightning (45-29-6) could have clinched a playoff spot with a point. And this loss likely cost Tampa Bay a shot at the Atlantic Division, with victorious Florida moving four points ahead with three games left. But if the Lightning plans on going anywhere upon reaching next week's playoffs, it has to protect its end better. Tampa Bay did in Saturday's 3-1 win over the Devils, with Cooper calling it the best structured game of the year.

"It seemed like the exact opposite (Monday)," wing Ryan Callahan said. "We were just worried about the other side of the net and not our own. We can't play that way. We're not successful when we play that way."

Bishop, with a league-best 2.00 goals-against average coming in, gave up five for just the second time this season. There were a couple he'd like to have back, notably Anders Lee's blast from the left circle that made it 4-1 in the second.

"It kind of snowballed in the wrong direction," Bishop said. "One of those nights bounces don't go your way."

He had little margin for error as the Lightning, with the league's worst road power play, went 0-for-4 and the Islanders scored on the next shift after two of them. The line of Callahan, Valtteri Filppula and Cedric Paquette was a combined minus-6.

Without Stamkos and his team-high 36 goals, the team could use a boost offensively, whether that's shoot-first wing Jonathan Marchessault — a healthy scratch the past two games — or calling up Jonathan Drouin, who has nine goals in his past nine games for AHL Syracuse.

The Islanders outshot the Lightning 36-24.

"We just stopped shooting the puck," Cooper said. "We just wanted to tap it around until it was placed into the net."

With Bishop pulled early in the third, he could start tonight against the Rangers. "You're so used to seeing him be the rock back there every single night," Cooper said. "…Sometimes you've just got to give your guy a break."

A little help couldn't hurt, either.

Islanders 1 3 1 5
Lightning 0 2 0 2

First—1, NYI, Pulock 2 (Okposo, Tavares), 13:18. Penalties—Zidlicky, NYI (hooking), 1:38; Nesterov, TB (roughing), 6:21; Okposo, NYI, served by Prince (roughing), 6:21; Nelson, NYI (cross-checking), 10:53; Paquette, TB, major (fighting), 16:43; Pulock, NYI, major (fighting), 16:43; Johnson, TB (hooking), 19:50.

Second—2, TB, Killorn 14 (Kucherov, Carle), 2:08. 3, NYI, Martin 9 (Clutterbuck, Cizikas), 11:00. 4, NYI, Nelson 26 (Kulemin), 15:23. 5, NYI, Tavares 30 (Nielsen, Okposo), 16:15 (pp). 6, TB, Hedman 10 (Carle, Namestnikov), 19:53. Penalties—Brown, TB (high-sticking), 15:53.

Third—7, NYI, Boychuk 9 (Tavares), 4:28. Penalties—Lee, NYI (hooking), 2:10; Hickey, NYI (roughing), 10:17. Shots—TB 10-12-12—34. NYI 9-10-17—36. PPs—TB 0 of 4; NYI 1 of 2. Goalies—TB, Bishop 34-21-4 (23 shots-18 saves), Vasilevskiy (4:28 third, 13-13). NYI, Greiss 22-11-4 (34-32). A—13,106 (15,795).

. Tonight

Lightning at Rangers

When/where: 7:30, Madison Square Garden, New York

TV/radio: NBCSN, 970-AM

Key stats: The Rangers (44-26-9) are third in the Metropolitan Division. They had lost two straight and six of their previous 10 (4-4-2) before Monday's win at Columbus. But New York is a strong home team (25-9-4 at MSG). The Rangers ranked sixth in the league in scoring (2.85 goals a game). The teams split the first two meetings, both in Tampa, with this the Lightning's only trip to New York. G Henrik Lundqvist has struggled recently, 2-4-3 in his 10 previous starts with an .899 save percentage and 3.59 goals-against average before Monday.

Ben Bishop chased as Lightning loses at Islanders 04/04/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 12:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games


    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.