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Goalie faceoff could highlight Lightning-Canadiens series

Tampa Bay Lightning's Jonathan Drouin scores past Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, March 30, 2015, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)
Tampa Bay Lightning's Jonathan Drouin scores past Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, March 30, 2015, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)
Published May 1, 2015

MONTREAL — G Ben Bishop delivered one of the best performances of his career in Wednesday's Game 7, shutting out the Red Wings with 31 saves in a 2-0 victory.

It won't get easier for Bishop tonight as the Lightning begins an Eastern Conference semifinal showdown with the Canadiens and G Carey Price, who is a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

"I just have to embrace it," Bishop said. "Obviously (Price is) one of the best goalies in the world, if not the best. It's always fun playing against the best. You kind of put yourself up against them."

Bishop more than held his own against Price in the regular season, going 5-0-0 with a 1.59 goals-against average in a five-game sweep of the Canadiens, including a 1-0 shutout March 10 in Montreal. He is 10-1-2 with a 1.53 GAA in 14 career games versus Montreal. Price, 46-16-6 with a 1.96 GAA this season, was 0-4-1 with a 3.44 GAA in five starts against Bishop and the Lightning in the regular season.

"I've played against (Price) quite a few times over the last few years," Bishop said. "I don't really expect it to be too much different."

TIME TO SHINE? C Steven Stamkos went goal-less during the seven-game series against the Red Wings, and he hasn't scored in his past 10 playoff games. But coach Jon Cooper believes Stamkos' best is yet to come.

"I think the fact 'Stammer' hasn't scored and we won the series probably bodes well, because it speaks to the depth of our team," Cooper said. "A different guy shines every game, and trust me, Stammer's time to shine is coming up."

ON THE MEND? C Valtteri Filppula played just 10 minutes, 24 seconds Wednesday; his last shift was late in the second period. When asked if Filppula was hurt, general manager Steve Yzerman said, "Nothing to report at this time."

TICKET TALK: The Lightning will put single-game tickets for the Montreal series on sale at 10 a.m. today. Tampa Bay hosts Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Thursday at Amalie Arena, both at 7 p.m., and it will host Game 6 if necessary May 12. The same ticket policy applies as in the first round; those buying online need a Florida address for their credit card. Tickets can be purchased at the arena box office and through Ticketmaster (outlets, ticketmaster.com, toll-free 1-800-745-3000).

NICE TOUCH: That owner Jeff Vinik made a rare appearance in the locker room Wednesday night to congratulate his team was appreciated by the players.

"He's probably one of the biggest fans out there," D Victor Hedman said. "He sees a lot of our games, so to see him down there in the locker room is pretty special."

ICE CHIPS: The Lightning is bringing up C Mike Angelidis, RW Jonathan Marchessault and G Kristers Gudlevskis from AHL Syracuse to practice with the team in Montreal. Syracuse was eliminated from the playoffs Wednesday. … Though all games from now on will be televised by an NBC-owned network, Sun Sports will still do postgame shows featuring color analyst Bobby "The Chief" Taylor and Paul Kennedy in the studio, and play-by-play man Rick Peckham and analyst Dave Andreychuk on the road.

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Times staff writer Matt Baker contributed to this report.

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