Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Bishop, Lightning blank Flames

CALGARY — Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop admitted it is not always easy to play a game in which he doesn't get a lot of work.

He faced one of those challenges Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome as Tampa Bay allowed the Flames only 19 shots on goal.

Bishop stopped them all in a 2-0 victory, the Lightning's fifth straight road victory and the fourth shutout for Bishop, who is tied with Boston's Tuukka Rask for the league lead.

The key to staying focused when most of the action is at the other end of the ice?

"Try not to think about other things," he said.

That was not difficult for Bishop on this night. The Flames' interim general manager, Brian Burke, was part of the selection committee that kept Bishop off the U.S. Olympic team.

Bishop said Thursday he had nothing to prove to Burke or any of the other members of the selection committee. But as reporters approached him after the game, he smiled and said, "Is that the answer you wanted?"

"There are seven GMs out there. I'm not going to try to show up every single one," added Bishop, who earned his 22nd victory, second in the league. "I just want to go out and play my game. The guys did a great job in front of me and made it easy on me."

Tampa Bay (25-12-4) scored twice in the second period. Ondrej Palat got the winner 5:23 into the period on a zippy wrist shot from the high slot that beat Calgary and former Lightning goalie Karri Ramo high on the glove side.

Palat also assisted on Nikita Kucherov's second goal in as many games since he changed his number to 86 from 56.

"He's good at the game," coach Jon Cooper said of Palat. "He works his tail off, and he's going to kill me for saying this but you can make an instructional video (with him) on how to play the game the proper way."

Palat was especially good on Kucherov's goal. He was patient before passing the puck, which Kucherov tapped in at the far left post.

But the best story line was Bishop, who has now allowed two or fewer goals in 26 of his 31 starts.

Of his shutouts, Bishop said, "It's nice. I don't look too much into that. It's more the wins. As long as we're winning, I don't care if we win 6-5 or 1-0."

"Hopefully he can continue to play the way he has been playing," Cooper said. "He gives us a boost when he's out there. I feel for him.

"I understand the decision USA Hockey made. I really do. They went with some guys with a proven track record. Ben's track record has been this year.

"He did everything in his power to make that team. He made the choice hard on them."

Friday, he made things hard on the Flames.

Lightning0202
Flames0000

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesThompson, TB (roughing), 5:10; O'Brien, Cal (roughing), 5:10; Westgarth, Cal (cross-checking), 5:10; Malone, TB, major (fighting), 9:36; Westgarth, Cal, major (fighting), 9:36; Brewer, TB (hooking), 16:38.

Second Period1, Tampa Bay, Palat 7 (Purcell, Barberio), 5:23. 2, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 5 (Palat, Carle), 10:20. PenaltiesTampa Bay bench, served by Purcell (too many men), 3:01; Cammalleri, Cal (interference), 3:16; Cammalleri, Cal (closing hand on puck), 8:12; Gudas, TB (holding), 14:03; Hudler, Cal (cross-checking), 16:19.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesGudas, TB (tripping), :43; Brewer, TB (cross-checking), 2:58; Giordano, Cal (hooking), 18:31. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 13-6-10—29. Calgary 5-8-6—19. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 5; Calgary 0 of 5. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 22-5-3 (19 shots-19 saves). Calgary, Ramo 6-7-3 (29-27). A19,289 (19,289). T2:18. Referees—Brad Watson, Francis Charron. LinesmenShane Heyer, Vaughan Rody.

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