Friday, 3 a.m.
Hey, didn't you used to be Ben Bishop?
Certainly, you look familiar enough. Tall guy, good grin. Tends to get hurt every so often.
Yeah, that was Bishop, all right, who helped to snap a four-game losing streak in a 4-2 win over Buffalo. Bishop stopped 28 shots, and he improved his personal record to 10-10-2.
"Give Buffalo credit,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “They pushed in the third, and we bent a little bit but we didn’t break. I think Bish had a lot
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to do with that, just the saves he made, the way he played the puck, how many pucks he stopped behind the net, it just helped our defense. It was good to have him back.”
It was good, too, to see Ondrej Palat play well. Palat scored two goals to pace the Bolts. Lineman Nikita Kucherov scored his 17th.
"Palat was a beast,” said Cooper. “He was all over the ice.”
The Lightning fell behind on the game's first shot, prompting Bishop to suggest he only felt rust on the opening score.
"Yeah, it would’ve been nice to start with a little easier one,” Bishop said. “Not much you can do, guy made a pretty good shot. It was kind of a fluky play, bounced a couple of times. I wasn’t too worried about it. It was nice to get a couple saves after that, but yeah it would’ve been nice to start with maybe like a long one to start.”
Bishop said it was a large win by the Bolts.
"It’s big. We needed two points. We need to get points tomorrow, and then obviously we have a tough road trip. Taking care of this home ice before we go on the road is big. A team that was
right on our heels and we’re chasing teams too. Any way you can get points right now is important, and tonight was a pretty good game I thought by everybody. We didn’t give them too much. We scored when we had chances, so we’ll take it.”
Defenseman Victor Hedman liked playing in front of Bishop again.
"He was phenomenal. He was calm with the puck and made some big saves for us. Obviously, a tough start, a breakaway right away. He grew into it, played the puck well, moved well and made some big saves for us. It was a lot of fun to see him play with that confidence.”
The Bolts are home tonight against Columbus.