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Bishop gives Lightning 'all you can ask for'

Goalie holds off Islanders, sets stage for overtime win

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders came in blue waves, shift after shift, in the first period of Game 4 in the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.

The Islanders attempted 35 shots, got 16 of them on goal, but scored once.

Goaltender Ben Bishop's performance during that fusillade enabled the Lightning to stay within one shot of tying the game. They got that shot when Nikita Kucherov scored 7:49 into the third period, and defenseman Jason Garrison's goal 1:34 into overtime gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 win at Barclays Center.

"I have to tip my hat to [Bishop]; he saved us in the first period," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after Tampa Bay took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. It can advance to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight season by winning Game 5 at Amalie Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Video: TBL@NYI: Bishop stones Okposo on the doorstep

The Lighting were outscored, outshot and outplayed in the first period. They had to kill three penalties, including a double minor. Because of Bishop, they left the ice after 20 minutes down by one.

"You know there's going to be a push on the road," Bishop said of New York's first-period dominance, which produced a power-play goal by Kyle Okposo. "They're feeding off this crowd. You try to keep them in there, just worry about the next save. You keep the team in and eventually they came through.

"There were a few too many breakdowns in the first period, but in the second and third we did a good job."

For the rest of the first period, and the remainder of the game, Bishop was perfect. He robbed Okposo on a second-period breakaway, stopped defenseman Calvin de Haan's shorthanded semi-breakaway, and denied Nikolay Kulemin's tip in the final seconds of the third period.

"He gave us a chance to win the entire night," Lightning forward Alex Killorn said. "That's all you can ask for."

Basically, that's what Bishop has done all season. On a team that often struggled to score, he led the NHL in goals-against average (2.06), finished with a .926 save percentage, and tied for second with six shutouts.

It's a stat-line that made him a Vezina Trophy finalist for the second time in three seasons, and put him on the United States team for the World Cup of Hockey in September.

Video: TBL@NYI, Gm4: Bishop squares up Pulock's slap shot

"He's a really good goaltender, a World Cup goaltender," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We have to find a way to get to the net and get some rebounds."

Bishop smiled when he was asked about the game-winner by Garrison, the quickest overtime goal in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It's nice when it ends fast like that," Bishop said. "You don't have to stay out there too long. It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it. We still have a long way to go."

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