Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Bishop pulled as Lightning loses to Islanders in Game 1 (w/video)

TAMPA — Ben Bishop began Wednesday night being named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL's top goaltender.

"He's got us to this point," center Brian Boyle said.

But this wasn't Bishop's finest hour, the Lightning All-Star goaltender pulled midway through a 5-3 loss to the Islanders in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Not many, especially the stunned sellout crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena, have seen this often, Bishop — the team's often bulletproof backbone — giving up four goals in 13 shots of a big game, skating to the bench with 11 minutes to go in the second period.

"I felt good," he said. "Just one of those nights where it wasn't really hitting me."

But the loss can't be pinned solely on Bishop, not after 13 giveaways and not after what coach Jon Cooper dubbed "way too soft" play and "inexcusable" defensive coverage that led the Islanders to score twice in the final minute of the first period.

"That killed us," Cooper said.

But the game served as a prime example of how the Lightning, especially without injured Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman, can't solely depend on its MVP to carry it past a surging Islanders team and a sparkling goalie, Thomas Greiss, who had 33 saves.

"He's been our best player all season," defenseman Victor Hedman said of Bishop. "He can't be at his best and bail us out every night. We've got to make sure that everybody bounces back, and we've got to help him better than we did."

Said Tyler Johnson: "We're lucky it's not like March Madness, where it's one game and you're out."

The Lightning has no doubts in Bishop's bounce-back ability for Saturday's Game 2, having witnessed it often. Bishop, relieved for just the second time this season (both by Andrei Vasilevskiy, against the Islanders both times), was also pulled twice in last year's playoffs, rebounding with a shutout in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Rangers after allowing five goals in 26 shots in Game 6.

"We've got no worries," Boyle said.

And Bishop didn't looked fazed postgame, having already mentally moved on.

"It's the big thing about the playoffs, all that matters if you won or lost," Bishop said. "It doesn't matter if you give up 10 or zero or one. If you lose a game, you can't really do anything about it, it's all about getting ready for the next game."

After a six-day layoff, the Lightning couldn't have started any better, taking a 1-0 lead on an Ondrej Palat goal three minutes in. But Travis Hamonic's tying goal three minutes later, a weird-angled shot from the side boards, was the first of four unanswered goals. Bishop saw it, squared it up, but it squeaked through "Ninety-nine out of 100 times I make that save," Bishop said. "It just found a hole."

Shane Prince then beat Bishop with a backdoor tap in, then a one-timer with three seconds to go in the first. The fourth was a "world-class shot" by John Tavares.

The Lightning made a too-little, too-late rally in the third, outshooting the Islanders 17-5 and pulling within one with 2:32 to go. But it needs its world-class goaltender to turn the page.

"Bish is Bish," Cooper said. "That kid bounces back, so I'm not worried."

Islanders 3 1 1 5
Lightning 1 0 2 3
Islanders 3 1 1 5
Lightning 1 0 2 3

 

 

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Palat 2 (Drouin, Namestnikov), 3:05. 2, N.Y. Islanders, Hamonic 1 (Quine, Tavares), 5:44. 3, N.Y. Islanders, Prince 2 (Strome, Nelson), 17:28. 4, N.Y. Islanders, Prince 3 (Strome, Nelson), 19:57. PenaltiesJohnson, TB (hooking), 9:06; Killorn, TB (kneeing), 11:53.

Second Period5, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 6 (Okposo, Nielsen), 8:59 (pp). PenaltiesZidlicky, NYI (interference), 2:21; Marchessault, TB (hooking), 8:12; Callahan, TB (holding), 17:41.

Third Period6, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 6 (Carle, Hedman), 7:41. 7, Tampa Bay, Filppula 1 (Killorn, Garrison), 17:28. 8, N.Y. Islanders, Clutterbuck 1 (Cizikas, de Haan), 19:05 (en). PenaltiesCizikas, NYI (delay of game), 15:20. Shots on GoalN.Y. Islanders 12-5-5—22. Tampa Bay 8-11-17—36. Power-play opportunitiesN.Y. Islanders 1 of 4; Tampa Bay 0 of 2. GoaliesN.Y. Islanders, Greiss 5-2-0 (36 shots-33 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 4-2-0 (13-9), Vasilevskiy (8:59 second, 8-8). A19,092 (19,092). T2:32.

     
Comments
Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the Lightning defenseman.They both were picked in the top-10 of the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in three w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s dreams are coming true

GLENDALE, Ariz — Nikita Kucherov’s toughest challenge isn’t facing Canadiens goalie Carey Price, or Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky.It comes in practice against Andrei Vasilevskiy. "I’ve been saying, I thought he was going to be the top goalie in the leag...
Published: 12/13/17
Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Johnson hasn’t played very much wing in his career, primarily sticking to his natural center position. But lately, Johnson has been stellar on the right side.Johnson’s assist in Tuesday’s win over the Blues extended his point streak...
Published: 12/13/17
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Published: 12/12/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Published: 12/12/17
Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

The Lightning's west coast trip will start with a bang tonight in St. Louis.Tonight's game will pit the top two teams in the NHL, with Tampa Bay (21-6-2) atop the Eastern Conference, the Blues (21-8-2) the No. 1 team in the West.Fittingly, an NBCSN-a...
Published: 12/12/17
How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

BRANDON — The best team in town had just wrapped up practice. The Lightning had a plane to catch, to St. Louis, where Tuesday in St. Louis begins a four-city road trip that ends at expansion Las Vegas, exclusive engagement, one show a night, unless y...
Published: 12/11/17
All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

TAMPA — You don’t often see a coach making shadow puppets on the wall with his hands at the start of his postgame news conference, but that’s where the Lightning is these days after sweeping a four-game home stand with Saturday night’s 4-3 overtime v...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

TAMPA — His coach says he plays every game as if he doesn’t play his best, he’s going to be sent down. That is not the case with Brayden Point, but who doesn’t want that kind of effort from a second-year player who has more than established himself i...
Published: 12/09/17