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Lightning strike twice in 2nd, top Rangers 2-1
Question of the Day
No, top forward Steven Stamkos isn’t ready to play yet, but Ben Bishop was on top of his game after a brief absence. Bishop made 33 saves in his return from injury and the Lightning cooled off the Rangers 2-1 on Tuesday night.
“We played solidly, and I felt no rust,” Bishop said. “This was big for us coming into this building and playing well. It’s a fun place to play. You have to be excited playing at Madison Square Garden.”
Bishop was back in the net for the first time since he sprained his right wrist in the first period at Edmonton on Jan. 5. He missed three games before dressing as the backup to Anders Lindback on Monday at Columbus. He didn’t play in the Lightning’s 3-2 loss.
Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov supplied all the offense, scoring goals 9 seconds apart early in the second period for Tampa Bay, 5-1-1 in the second half of back-to-back games.
“It’s been tough, and I thought we’ve done a pretty good job,” Bishop said.
“I thought we played a really strong game,” Lundqvist said. “We created a lot of chances. It was a good hockey game, but we just came up a little short.”
“I like playing against the best,” Bishop said. “Henrik is obviously one of the best goalies ever. It’s fun to play against those guys. I don’t think the record means much, but for now it’s pretty nice.”
New York had another advantage in the final 5 minutes but didn’t score. The Rangers had netted a power-play goal in five straight contests.
Hedman then fired a slap shot from just inside the blue line that beat Lundqvist at 1:10. Hedman showed no ill-effects after injuring his shoulder in the first period when he was went awkwardly into the boards on a hit by Brian Boyle.
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