Bishop stands tall in net for Lightning

Tue Jun 2, 2015 5:51pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop stood tall in the biggest moments of the Lightning's playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final, fueling the Florida team's hopes of a second NHL crown in 11 years.

A towering presence in the net, the 6-foot-7 (2.01 m) goaltender might prove to be the final piece needed for the team to win another championship.

The Lightning have an explosive attack that led the NHL in goals, and a strong, veteran defensive corps but Bishop was entering his first NHL postseason.

While there were some high-scoring defeats, Bishop was brilliant when it mattered most.

He shut out the Detroit Red Wings in Game Seven of their first-round series, and shut down the Rangers in Game Five and Game Seven of the Eastern Conference finals, both at New York's Madison Square Garden.

All of Bishop's shutouts were by the same 2-0 count, the last one sending Tampa Bay to the best-of-seven title series against the Chicago Blackhawks, starting in Florida on Wednesday.

"We have no doubt how he can play," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after the Game Five win over the Rangers.

"You're not getting here without good goaltending. Bish is a top-tier goaltender in this league, and he's shown it."   Continued...

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) makes a save as he works out during media day the day before the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena; Jun 2, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports