It took practically all season, but a Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender finally pitched a shutout. This time, it was new trade acquisition Ben Bishop making his presence felt in a 5-0 blanking of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Bishop had 45 saves, tying him with legendary netminder Darren Puppa for the team record, and the offense took care of everything else. This marked the Lightning’s fourth straight game collecting points. It has been a roller coaster month which saw a coaching change, loss of a beloved former assistant (Wayne Fleming) and promising young rookie in Cory Conacher traded, yet the team has responded well so far.
Tonight was a chance for Tampa Bay fans to see what their new acquisition could bring though. No, the game didn’t clinch a playoff spot, but Bishop showed tons of potential.
The Lightning started off trying to find their legs, thus giving Carolina numerous scoring opportunities. However, they escaped unscathed, as Alexander Semin kicked the puck in with 36 seconds remaining in the opening period.
Following the game, Bishop said he “tried to keep things simple”. He did and the rest is history.
There was also one injury, as defenseman Victor Hedman missed the final 40 minutes with what’s being called a lower body injury. More specific information should be available tomorrow.
Lightning fans can enjoy this victory for now, though it’s early to decide whether this trade was good or not. That’s not a knock on Bishop, but instead some caution because this team’s notorious for having problems in net.
Either way, the Lightning will be looking to keep things rolling Saturday night against the New York Islanders. Game time is 7 p.m. Though difficult, this is a must-win for Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes.