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 has shutout as Lightning tops Coyotes (w/video)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — After feeling too comfortable during an alarming slide the past two weeks, Lightning coach Jon Cooper insisted that urgency had to start Saturday.

The Lightning desperately needed this one. And Tampa Bay delivered, a 2-0 victory over the hot Coyotes at Gila River Arena. It was just Tampa Bay's second win in seven games, but it kept the team four points ahead of the Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division heading into Tuesday's showdown in Tampa.

"It was huge," goalie Ben Bishop said. "It was pretty much a must-win for us."

It was far from easy against Arizona, which had won three in a row coming in. The game was tighter than it should have been, partly because the Lightning (41-26-5) came up empty on the power play, including a four-minute man advantage in the third period. But Bishop continued his Vezina Trophy-caliber season with 31 saves for his fifth shutout, and second of this road trip, Tampa Bay's only wins. Bishop now has a franchise-record 15 career shutouts in Tampa Bay, and his third consecutive 30-win season.

"He was unbelievable," wing Ondrej Palat said. "Everyone in the league knows how good he is. He's a Vezina candidate for sure."

Some of Bishop's best saves came during the critical stretch in the second period, when the Lightning had to kill off back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays, which combined for two minutes. Tampa Bay held on, preserving a one-goal lead. "I thought the difference in the game was our penalty kill," Cooper said. "Bish is a big part of that. But to get through that 5-on-3, that's the tipping point of the game right there."

The Lightning took six penalties, and gave up 31 shots, but it played more consistently than it had in recent games. Palat gave Tampa Bay the lead for good in the final minute of the first period, flicking a long-range wrist shot from the right boards that somehow trickled through goalie Louis Domingue.

"He didn't expect it - nobody did, and it went in," Palat said. "So I was a little lucky."

The game remained in the balance until the final minute, when Nikita Kucherov added an empty-net goal to seal it, ending the four-game trip the way it started - with a Bishop shutout.

Contact Joe Smith at Follow@TBTimes_JSmith.

Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman helps out goalie Ben Bishop by blokcing a shot from the Coyotes' Shane Doan in the second period Saturday.   {Associated Press}

Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman helps out goalie Ben Bishop by blokcing a shot from the Coyotes' Shane Doan in the second period Saturday. {Associated Press}

Ben Bishop has shutout as Lightning tops Coyotes (w/video) 03/20/16 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2016 7:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say that the Rays are out of it, but they did score six runs Tuesday in a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off major right knee surgery, understandably often takes it easy running the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single.

  3. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.
  4. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman laughs after Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran reached first on an infield single during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
  5. For starters: Rays vs. Blue Jays: Looking to make it 2 in a row


    UPDATE, 5:52: Cash said the off-day should have done the Rays good after losing 12 of their last 16 games and 20 of their last 30, with just one day off in that stretch:

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.