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Extra Shift: Lightning 4 Edmonton Oilers 2

This might have been Ben Bishop’s best game of the year. That’s saying a lot, given the fact that he is now 10-2-0 and has allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of his 12 starts. But I’m hard pressed to recall another game in which he had to face so many difficult shots.

The Oilers have plenty of speed and tremendous talent, especially at the forward position. Their team defense has struggled this year, however. Therefore, the Lightning looked to apply pressure in the Edmonton zone while managing the puck well so that the Oilers couldn’t utilize their skill.

As a whole, the Lightning did not do especially well in either category. True, they did successfully force turnovers that led to Steven Stamkos’ two first period goals. But throughout the game, the Bolts turned the puck over far too frequently. This played into the Oilers’ hands – and Edmonton generated much momentum from those turnovers.

Fortunately for Tampa Bay, Bishop was tremendous. He made three separate breakaway saves, including two on the dangerous Taylor Hall. His save of the game came late in the third period, when he denied a point-blank Boyd Gordon shot with a glove save. Of course, those were just four of his 38 saves. Many of the others came from close range, often with traffic around him.

After the game, Lightning players acknowledged that they didn’t play their best game in front of their goalie. They know they’ll need to be better as they head into another difficult stretch of games, beginning Saturday in Detroit.

Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito). Bishop’s save on Boyd Gordon late in the third period, preserving a 3-2 Lightning lead.

Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito).

  1. Ben Bishop – Lightning. 38 saves. The main reason why the Lightning won the game.
  2. Steven Stamkos – Lightning. Two goals.
  3. Taylor Hall – Oilers. Goal. Team-high eight shots.

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