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game recap

Lightning advance to Eastern Conference Final

Tampa Bay defeats New York in Game 5; Bishop has 28 saves, Hedman scores twice

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- Ben Bishop made 28 saves, and defenseman Victor Hedman scored two goals to help the Tampa Bay Lightning advance to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight year with a 4-0 win against the New York Islanders in Game 5 of the second round at Amalie Arena on Sunday.

The Lightning won the best-of-7 series 4-1. They will play the winner of the second-round series between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

It was Bishop's fifth career shutout in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; four of them have come in elimination games, including Game 5 against the Detroit Red Wings in the first round.

"I think we learned from last year," Bishop said. "We had a couple of series where we had chances to close it out at home and we let them slip. So I said last series I really want to take pride in closing teams out, and we've done it two series in a row.

Video: NYI@TBL, Gm5: Bishop makes spectacular pad save

Brian Boyle and Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning.

The Islanders scored one goal in the final two games of the series, and captain John Tavares was held without a point in the last four.

"Brutal. It's hard to believe it's over," Tavares said. "You put a lot into this, and we didn't accomplish what we set out to do. We played some good hockey at times. We just let those two games at home slip away, and it put us behind the eight ball going into [Sunday]."

Hedman opened the scoring with his first goal at 13:49 of the first period. He controlled a loose puck at the high slot and beat Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss with a shot through a Tyler Johnson screen.

Video: NYI@TBL, Gm5: Hedman scores a pair in Game 5

"[This] means a lot, obviously," Hedman said. "We're a resilient group and we fought through adversity. I don't think a lot of people picked us to go this far, especially with the injuries. For us to play as we have on a nightly basis, and we have to keep that going for the next round."

The Lightning have been without center Steven Stamkos and defenseman Anton Stralman the entire postseason.

Boyle made it 2-0 with 1:19 left in the first with his third goal of the playoffs. Defenseman Matt Carle got the puck to Boyle in the slot from behind the net, and Boyle beat Greiss high on the stick side.

"Start to finish, we played really well," Boyle said. "We were hard on pucks, we made sure we got the puck in deep, we didn't turn it over in the neutral zone and give them many opportunities. We played a great game. Obviously, one we needed to, and again Bishop was there for us."

Video: NYI@TBL, Gm5: Boyle beats Greiss with a quick shot

Hedman scored his second goal on the power play at 4:22 of the second period to make it 3-0. Forward Jonathan Drouin made a backhand pass off the boards, and Hedman scored on a one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle.  

Hedman had four goals and four assists in the series.

"You don't really move on without your best players being your best players," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I thought today was pretty indicative of what Victor Hedman's done for this team. He was a major factor in us winning today."

Kucherov scored on a breakaway at 4:40 of the third period to give the Lightning a 4-0 lead.

"You always want to win the last game of the year, and we weren't able to do that," Islanders forward Kyle Okposo said. "It's tough to keep having to learn these lessons. Obviously, we want to win, and as competitors it's tough to lose."

Video: NYI@TBL, Gm5: Kucherov goes five-hole to beat Greiss

Bishop wasn't faced with the same heavy pressure as Game 5 of the first-round series against the Red Wings, but he did have to make some big saves Sunday.

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk had a shot from point-blank range in the slot in the second period that Bishop grabbed with his glove. In the third, Boychuk appeared to have an open net off a rebound of a shot by Cal Clutterbuck, but Bishop scrambled to make a pad save.

"[Bishop] has played his 'A' game all year," Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said. "And it seems like the bigger the game, the better he is back there."

Greiss made 21 saves. He was 5-6 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 11 playoff games.

"[The Lightning] took advantage of their opportunities," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "You know we came in here today, I thought the game plan was good. We surrendered 18 shots even strength, and, I mean, if you asked me that going in, we would take it. We gave up seven on our power play, but you know we just couldn't find a way here these last few games to score some goals. At the end of the day, like I said, you have to get more than one, and we didn't get any today."

Video: Hedman scores twice, Lightning advance to ECF

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