TAMPA — After making just two starts in a 16-day span, Lightning G Ben Bishop has started back-to-back games.
"That's nice," Bishop said with a smile. "It's really nice."
Bishop rewarded the Lightning with its second straight win, this one coming in his first shutout of the season. Bishop was at his best in the first period with 19 saves, 28 total. It was Bishop's first shutout since May 8 against the Islanders in the playoffs.
"It's been a while," he said. "Just kind of hold the fort down in the first, then the guys made it pretty easy in the last two periods."
It makes sense for Tampa Bay, which is fighting for its playoff life, to ride the hot hand in net.
"It's about winning hockey games," coach Jon Cooper said. "There are a lot of factors. We trust both of our goalies."
Cooper said the Lightning hasn't really deviated from its preseason plan to give Bishop about 50 starts to Andrei Vasilevskiy's 30. Both are at 29 games played, but that's only due to Vasilevskiy's nine straight games when Bishop missed three weeks with a lower body injury.
Bishop's name will likely remain in trade speculation leading up to the March 1 trade deadline. If the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist plays like this, he'll not only help his value, but also lift his team closer to playoff contention.
KILLORN OUT: LW Alex Killorn was a surprise late scratch Tuesday due to an undisclosed injury. Killorn had participated in warmups, even doing a pregame bench interview with NBCSN. Killorn had played in the first 53 games this season, C Tyler Johnson the only one to play in them all. "That was a tough one," Cooper said. "Hopefully this is just a one-game thing."
MEDICAL MATTERS: LW Ondrej Palat (undisclosed) missed his second straight game, though he did skate in the morning. Cooper said he's unsure if Palat could return by this weekend. Cooper said LW Michael Bournival (upper body) is in the same situation. Bournival participated in Sunday and Monday's practice in a regular jersey.
SUPER BOWL TALK: C Brian Boyle, a huge Patriots fan from Hingham, Mass, said he was depressed at halftime of Sunday's Super Bowl. But Boyle couldn't have been happier with the finish. "That was a movie ending, almost," Boyle said. "Couldn't have scripted it any better."
MILESTONE WATCH: Associate coach Rick Bowness tied Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman for the most games behind the bench in the NHL as either a head coach or assistant coach (2,164). Bowness, 62, in his fourth season with the Lightning, can set the record Friday against the Wild. Most of Bowness' games have been as an assistant, with 463 games as head coach for five teams.
STEPPING IN: D Jake Dotchin continues to impress, including his partner, All-Star D Victor Hedman. "He's got all the tools to be a regular in the NHL," Hedman said.
NUTS AND BOLTS: The Lightning wore road white jerseys because the Kings brought their home black ones as they had to play the Flyers, who were using their white sweaters for their anniversary season.