Ben Bishop (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop is one of the hottest netminders in the league right now, having won four of his past five starts and allowing only six goals over that span. It helps when he’s making incredible stops, too, like the toe save he made to turn aside an open-net attempt by Anaheim’s Shawn Horcoff.
Getting pucks past Tampa Bay’s mammoth netminder Ben Bishop is a tough task at the best of times, but the 6-foot-7 Lightning goaltender is even harder to beat down low with a butterfly that spans almost post-to-post. Wednesday night, Anaheim Ducks center Shawn Horcoff got a lesson in just how much net Bishop can cover.
Early in the second period, Bishop over-committed on a shot from the blueline by Ducks defenseman Josh Manson. Manson’s wrist shot towards the net missed wide right but bounced off the boards in such a way that it shot back out into the slot area to the left of the net. Horcoff beat Valtteri Filppula to the loose puck and was able to fire it on goal, where Bishop shot out his leg to make an awesome toe save:
The save by Bishop was one of 32 he made on the night, as he held the Ducks to just one goal in a 2-1 Lightning victory. It was Bishop’s fourth win in his past five starts, and the fourth time in his past five games that he has held the opposition to one goal or fewer.
Through 20 starts this season, Bishop boasts a goals-against average of 1.99, which is the third-best mark in the league. Bishop is also tied for fifth in the league with a .929 save percentage.
It’s been a trying season at times for the Lightning, but with Bishop playing lights out of late, he’s almost single-handedly helping Tampa Bay get right back into the playoff race. The Lightning currently sit one point out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, but have played three more games than the Boston Bruins, who’re sitting in the second wild-card spot.