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game recap

Bishop, Lightning shut out Devils for fifth straight win

Makes 21 saves, Stamkos extends goal streak for Tampa Bay

by Mike G. Morreale @MikeMorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Bishop stones the Devils

TBL @ NJD: Bishop stops a blast from the point

2/26/16: Ben Bishop stops Jon Merrill from the point, then stones Bobby Farnham's rebound attempt to keep the game scoreless

  • 00:17 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is feeling as confident as he has all season.

He extended his goal streak to five games Friday to help the Lightning win their fifth straight, a 4-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

"When you feel good with the puck, you're legs are moving, and you're willing to make some plays that you might not try when things aren't going well," Stamkos said. "I've gotten more goals in front of the net (lately). I've tried to make a conscious effort of going there. I always try to be a threat no matter where I am on the ice and I've definitely been getting rewarded."

Since returning to center in a 4-2 loss at the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 16, Stamkos has five goals and two assists in six games. He did not have a point against the Sharks, but has scored in every game since, coincidentally after general manager Steve Yzerman said Stamkos would not be dealt prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, which is Monday.

Tampa Bay, which went 1-4-0 from Feb. 8-16, has outscored the opposition 20-10 during its winning streak.

Video: TBL@NJD: Stamkos gets on the board with a deflection

Ben Bishop made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season, his first since a 21-save, 4-0 win at the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 12. Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Matt Carle scored, and Ryan Callahan had two assists for the Lightning (35-22-4).

"It's awesome to see [Stamkos] on his game, he's a top scorer in the League, so when he gets going he's the best player on the ice and it's fun to watch," Palat said.

Bishop said the Lightning have some work to do before they are playing near the level they were prior to the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning reached the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

"I think we're getting there and I think we're playing better hockey," Bishop said. "We were playing solid at the end of last year and I think we can still take another step forward, but it's a process. We'll take this in stride and keep moving forward. This is a different year and different team."

Cory Schneider made 32 saves for the Devils (30-26-7), allowing at least three goals for the fourth time in the past six games (1-5-0).

Video: TBL@NJD: Killorn scores on rebound to open scoring

"It has to be better; we have 19 games to make the playoffs," Schneider said.

New Jersey lost 6-1 at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday when Schneider was pulled after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the first period.

"By no means is this the end of our season," Devils forward Kyle Palmieri said. "They have some skill players over there and they made some plays. I don't think we competed hard enough and they capitalized on some of our errors. We let [Schneider] down."

Killorn gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 15:36 of the first period. Stamkos circled in the slot and took a shot that Schneider stopped with his right pad. Killorn got to the rebound and scored his 11th of the season inside the left post while tumbling to the ice.

"Obviously (linemates) Killorn and Callahan are playing great too," Stamkos said. "We had a lot of possession time [Friday], and when you have the puck you feel more comfortable in your game. We've been on a good streak, and hopefully we can continue that.

Video: NTBL@NJD: Bishop stops Kennedy to keep it 2-0

"We knew the Devils were going to be a desperate hockey team, so it was a solid all-around effort from Bishop on out. We played the right way and got rewarded; it was fun to be in that game."

The most impressive save by Bishop came 9:32 into the second period, when he went down at the left post and stacked the pads to deny Tyler Kennedy.

"[Valtteri Filppula] and me were dancing there for a bit and I just tried not to take my eye off the puck," Bishop said. "I guess [Filppula] was trying not to move either, and sometimes you have to improvise and I did with the stacked pads."

The Lightning took a 2-0 lead at 13:02 when Palat scored his seventh of the season from the slot. Devils forwards Adam Henrique and Lee Stempniak bumped into each other, and Tyler Johnson picked up the loose puck behind the net before quickly centering to Palat.

"We knew they played [Thursday] and we wanted to jump on them and play a complete 60-minute game," Palat said. "All four lines were rolling and that was a key, and we were creating chances. I think we've been playing well. We've been playing good defense; that's the key."

Video: TBL@NJD: Schneider robs Stamkos on the doorstep

Stamkos made it 3-0 when he deflected a shot by defenseman Anton Stralman from the right point at 18:54. His 27th goal came in his 12th multipoint game of the season.

"I've just tried to focus on my game and realize I had more to give, and I've been getting confidence," Stamkos said. "I know the type of player I want to be, and the type of leader I want to be."

Carle scored his second of the season 11:12 into the third period for a 4-0 lead. Tampa Bay outshot New Jersey 36-21.

The Devils were without center Jacob Josefson, who became ill prior to the game. Forward Bobby Farnham played after sitting the three previous games as a healthy scratch. Sergey Kalinin took Josefson's spot as third-line center between Tuomo Ruutu and Kennedy.

Video: Bishop leads Lightning past Devils with shutout

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