The NHL's biggest goaltender has given the Ottawa Senators a big lift.
Six-foot-seven Ben Bishop made it two wins in as many starts since being acquired by the Senators by making 25 saves as Ottawa beat the New York Rangers 4-1 on Thursday night.
Bishop, acquired from St. Louis at the trade deadline, has impressed his new teammates with his poise and confidence.
"Bishop played unbelievable," defenseman Jared Cowen said. "I think that's a good thing for us because going down the stretch goalies are huge and he's already been a big part of the team for us."
The Senators needed some goaltending after Craig Anderson was sidelined indefinitely with a hand injury. But Bishop played down his own contribution in winning his debut at Scotiabank Place.
"It was a big team win, but for myself it was just nice to get my first one at home and get that under my belt and focus for Saturday," Bishop said.
Zach Smith and Nick Foligno scored in the first period for Ottawa (36-25-8), which remained seventh in the East; Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza, into an empty net, connected in the third.
Ryan Callahan scored the lone goal for the Rangers (42-17-7), who've dropped back-to-back 4-1 decisions. Martin Biron allowed two goals on four shots in the first period and finished with 17 saves.
"We didn't score enough, and we just made a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of our net," center Brian Boyle said. "For the most part of the game I think we defended well, but obviously we didn't do enough to win the game."
After losses to New Jersey and Ottawa, Rangers coach John Tortorella feels his team is self-imploding.
"I think we're beating ourselves sometimes in a game and finding ways to lose," Tortorella said after the Rangers dropped behind St. Louis in the overall standings. "We're just going to continue to keep working on our game and chip out the mistakes and see if we can get a little traction here."
It was a confidence-booster for the Senators, who won three of four meetings with the Rangers this season.
"I think a game like this just goes to show that we can beat those kinds of teams like Boston and New York," Cowen said. "It's a good confidence booster for playoffs."
With just seven shots through two periods the Senators rarely tested Biron, but they took advantage of some rebounds.
Turris scored his eighth of the season as he jumped on the rebound of Alfredsson's shot from the point to give the Senators a 3-1 lead early in the third. Spezza rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
Despite being outshot 9-3 in the second the Senators managed to hold their own against the Rangers thanks to the play of Bishop, who made several big saves, including a great stop on Ruslan Fedotenko late in the period.
Bishop looked a little nervous to start the game as the Rangers opened the scoring at 4:36 when Callahan raced to the net and tipped Brad Richards' pass from the left half-wall into an open net as he caught Bishop moving.
"It wasn't good to let in that first one," Bishop said. "I think the team responded great getting a goal right back and we didn't give up many chances and we didn't give up too many rebounds."
The lead didn't last long. Following a turnover, Smith scored his first goal in 13 games by firing a slap shot from the top of the left circle and beating Biron.
With just over a minute left in the first period Foligno banged home Jim O'Brien's rebound to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. It was just Foligno's third goal of 2012, and the first that wasn't an empty-netter.
"I'm happy to get the goal for the team and hopefully many more to come," Foligno said. "It was definitely a nice feeling to score."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report