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Lightning bounce back, take puck and Game 2 away from Islanders

Ben Bishop was pulled in Game 1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s series against the New York Islanders. Which was sort of embarrassing on several levels, since it was also a day on which he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy. 

But here’s what happens when Ben Bishop gets pulled: His team usually wins the next game. And the Lightning bounced back to take Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, 4-1, over the Islanders.

“It’s a team thing. The guys played really well in front of me,” said Bishop, who improved to 12-3-1 after being pulled. “We just wanted to get pucks deep. Last game, we had too many turnovers, fed their transition."

It was Tampa Bay’s transition game that fed the first goal, led by a reunited Triplets Line.

It was set up by defenseman Victor Hedman thanks in part to having Cal Clutterbuck and Nick Leddy collide in the neutral zone. Ondrej Palat easily fed a puck to Tyler Johnson, with Matt Martin forced to play defense, and he converted for the 1-0 lead at 6:03 of the first period.

Full marks to Nikita Kucherov, who forced the turnover that forced the Islanders to collide.

“We had a little traffic in the neutral zone there, and Kuch made a great play,” said Johnson on NHL Network, who now has four goals in the playoffs. 

Jonathan Drouin made it 2-0 as he stick-handled in a phone booth, and scored one that Thomas Greiss wanted back:

Nikolay Kulemin cut the lead to 2-1 with a deflected shot on an Islanders’ power play. But Hedman scored a power-play of his own, off of Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan’s skate, to earn the 3-1 advantage. Johnson closed out the scoring with an empty netter.

Like Bishop said, the Lightning played a hell of a game in front of him, as he bounced back with a 19-save effort. They limited the Islanders to three shots on goal in the third period, after a five-shot second period. (That included a seven-minute stretch without a whistle in the third.)

The Lightning smartly held onto the puck more this game, ending with a lopsided possession advantage.

"They had more puck possession in our zone," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. 

The Islanders, meanwhile, played a tentative, pass-happy game. And when they did shoot, Bishop saw it.

"We didn't get in front of him enough. We started the game with power play after power play, and they pressured us all over the ice," said Capuano. "We didn't take his eyes away."


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.



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