Ben Bishop came up huge again in an important 4-2 win for the Lightning on the road Saturday afternoon in Dallas.
The Lightning began the matinee matchup with the Dallas Stars sitting in third in the Atlantic Division behind the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. Simply put, they had to win this one. But, they almost blew a 3-0 lead when the Stars began mounting intense pressure after the first period.
Scoring began quickly when a shot by Eric Brewer from the point deflected off the leg of Martin St. Louis at 1:25 of the first period, giving St. Louis his 28th goal of the season. The secondary assist went to Ondrej Palat.
Then at 12:09, Alex Killorn chipped the puck along the board to Victor Hedman, who took a shot on goal that was tipped by Nate Thompson. It was Thompson's sixth goal of the season. Alex Killorn later had a great chance to score on Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen when he turned on the jets to split the defense, but the veteran goalie came up big.
The game soon became largely reminiscent of the tilt in Nashville on Thursday night against the Predators though, as the momentum began to shift away from the Lightning.
The Bolts were outplayed heavily throughout the remainder of the game. They began turning pucks over and looked stagnant as they were outshot 33-10 in the final two periods.
Marty St. Louis did manage to score a beautiful top-shelf goal, his second of the night, on a partial breakaway at 14:31 for his 29th goal of the season.
After that though, it was all Dallas.
Antoine Roussel tipped a pass by Kevin Connauton, which deflected off Mike Kostka and past Ben Bishop to shrink the lead to two goals less than 90 seconds later.
The stars continued pressing through the rest of the period, leading them to score again at 18:11 on a wraparound by Vernon Fiddler that Ben Bishop probably would like to have back. Bishop hugged the post tightly, but the puck still managed to dribble past the goal line and into the net.
Though those two goals were the only ones scored by the Stars in the game, they continued to outshoot--and really outplay--the Lightning throughout the remainder of the game.
Sami Salo finished the scoring for the afternoon on a rocket of a shot from the blueline at 7:12 to allow the Lightning to put the final nail in the coffin. The Stars pulled Kari Lehtonen in an effort to come back in the game, but the Lightning went on to secure a much-needed win on the road.
The Lightning play the second half of a back-to-back against the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. Pregame coverage will start at 7:30.
- Victor Hedman notched his 100th career assist on the goal by Nate Thompson.
- Lightning captain St. Louis has four goals in two games since returning from the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
- The Lightning were 3-for-3 in their penalty kill against the Dallas Stars, something with which they struggled against the Predators on Thursday night.
- In addition to giving up 41 shots in the game to the Stars, the Lightning blocked an additional 25 shot attempts.