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. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.

  5. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”