Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, there might be life to the Tampa Bay Lightning, after all.
And if so, nights such as Tuesday night give fans a reason to believe.
The Lightning won a 5-0 game that should serve as the team’s blueprint for the rest of their playoff run. They got good goaltending, they got goals from their speediest skaters, and their penalty kill was strong in a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
It was the first regular season shutout by goalie Ben Bishop since last March 28, when he stopped 34 shots against Toronto. This time, Bishop stopped 19 shots in the first period, but had to face only nine the last two periods.
“Bish played extremely well in the first period when we needed him,” said coach Jon Cooper. “I looked up and they had 19 shots. We felt extremely fortunate to go to intermission with the lead. Clearly Bishop had a lot to do with that. But once that happened, we gave up nine shots the rest of the game. That’s the team helping each other out. Ben bailed us out in the first, and the team said ‘Ben, we’re not going to try to need you in the last two periods. That’s how it went.”
The Bolts also got two goals from Nikita Kucherov and one from Jonathan Drouin. Gabriel Dumont had his first goal for the Lightning, and Braydon Coburn added a goal.
For the Lightning, it was the first time the team has won back-to-back games since December 20th and 22nd.
“We need to get consecutive wins,” Drouin said. “When you win one , lose one, win one, lose one, you don’t get points out of it. We want to make it three and four. That’s what we need. We need points on the road.”
For Bishop, it was his second straight win. He’s struggled much of the year to remain above .500, and so it is encouraging to think he might get on a roll.”
Tampa Bay visits Minnesota on Friday night.