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game recap

Bishop, Lightning shut out Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay goalie makes 34 saves to blank Toronto

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- Ben Bishop had 34 saves for his 16th career shutout in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 3-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena on Monday. 

Mike Blunden, Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning (44-27-5), who are tied with the Florida Panthers for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers, however, have a game in hand and will host the Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

"There are team shutouts and there are goalie shutouts, take a guess which one that was," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "There are games you're going play and you walk out of there wondering how we didn't get a point. And then you have games, hopefully there are not near as many, where you say for sure we didn't deserve to roll out of there with a 3-0 win."

Video: TOR@TBL: Bishop stones Boyes, Nylander in the 1st

Toronto (27-37-11) had several scoring chances and outshot the Lightning 34-18. But the Maple Leafs went 0-for-7 on the power play and are 3-for-32 over their past nine games. 

"Their goalie did a good job and they got enough to win," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We didn't score. We had point-blank chances and three open nets but we didn't score. Can't win without scoring."

Blunden gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead 7:34 into the game. Erik Condra played the puck behind the net and found Blunden streaking to the slot, where he beat Maple Leafs goalie Garret Sparks.

Video: TOR@TBL: Lightning take early lead on Blunden's goal

Palat made the score 2-0 at 14:29 of the first period shortly after being released from the penalty box on a tripping call. Steven Stamkos put a shot on goal and Palat swatted the rebound into the net. 

"Bishop made some extremely high quality saves, which in turn is lack of defensive coverage for us," Stamkos said. "We'll take the win and at this time of the year the points are critical, but we can't sit here and honestly say that was a great effort from us."

Hedman's eighth goal of the season came at 6:38 of the second period to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead. Stamkos put a pass on his backhand to Hedman at the left circle, where he beat Sparks top shelf. 

Video: TOR@TBL: Hedman nets Stamkos' fine feed to pad lead

"I didn't think we played bad against Florida and lost (5-2 on Saturday), but clearly we didn't play up to our standard," Hedman said. "We'll come in [Tuesday] look at some tape and fix some things in practice. They deserve credit too. They played hard and fast and made us work."

Bishop made several big saves to preserve the shutout. Early in the first period, he denied Brad Boyes with a sprawling stick save when it looked as though Boyes had an open net during a Maple Leafs power play. 

In the second period, Bishop robbed Nazem Kadri with a glove save on a shot that forced the puck to go off the post. 

Video: TOR@TBL: Palat shows off his hand-eye coordination

"They have a very structured team. They are young and fast and they play their system," Bishop said. "We had too many turnovers. I don't know if we were trying to do too much, but we have to try to keep it simple. It comes to a point now where enough's enough. We've had too many of these games where we come in the next day and look at film and play better for a couple of games before going back to the old ways."

Sparks made 15 saves for Toronto.

"You can't take any credit away from [Bishop]," Kadri said. "He's just so big, I mean anything he doesn't see seems to just hit him and square to the corners. He's did a good job of getting in front of it."

Video: Bolts tie for first as Bishop shuts out Leafs, 3-0

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