February 1, 2013 - Lightning take an early lead, and end it with the score of 8-3. Photos: R. Pitts/ CC Media + Entertainment
Steven Stamkos met with fans during the holidays!
Photots from the Bolts' 4-3 win over Buffalo on October 25th, 2011
Ben Bishop still had an Ottawa goalie mask, but there was no doubt he was all Lightning Thursday night.
In his debut for Tampa Bay, the 26-year old new addition, acquired in a trade with the Senators for rookie Cory Conacher and a fourth-round draft pick Wednesday, was perfect, stopping an incredible 45 shots he faced.
Bishop did not have an easy task early on with the Hurricanes taking 19 shots alone in the opening period, but used his outstanding agillity and puck-tracking skills to keep the net clear throughout the game. At 6-7, Bishop looked very posied and comfortable in the net and did not get shaken with the barage of Carolina shots.
Not helping Bishop's cause was Victor Hedman, arguably the Lightning's best defenseman, leaving the ice in the second period with a lower body injury that would keep him out of the remainder of the game.
Playing as a well-oiled machine for the better part of 60 minutes, the Lightning not only stopped shots, but scored plenty of their own.
28 seconds into the second period, Matt Carle took a shot at Dan Ellis that popped out of the netminder's glove and was cleaned up by Teddy Purcell to open the scoring.
With just under five minutes remaining in the middle stanza, Alex Killorn took a high-powered slapshot from the right face off circle that was redirected into the net by Tom Pyatt to give the Lightning a two-goal lead.
With 42.4 seconds left on the clock in the second, Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead after Keith Aulie's shot from the left point sailed past Ellis.
The Lightning added a pair of goals in the third period to extend the shutout. The first, a give-and-go between Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis, with St. Louis getting the Bolts' fourth score of the night and then Pouliot wrapped up the effort five minutes later with the fifth and final Lightning goal.
The Lightning entered the evening six points out of the playoff picture, but with a team effort like their performance against the division rival Hurricanes and a little bit of help from other clubs, the playoffs may not seem so out of reach as they did a week ago.
Tampa Bay will head to Long Island to take on the Islanders on Saturday.