MONDAY'S NHL PREVIEWS
March 17, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (31-29-10) AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (36-24-7), 7:30 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Bishop is one of the main reasons that the Tampa Bay Lightning remain in the playoff picture despite an extended absence by Steven Stamkos due to injury.
Fresh off of setting a club record for wins in a season, Bishop will look to lead the Lightning past the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night in the finale of a six-game homestand.
Though Stamkos missed 45 games from mid-November to early March with a broken right leg, the Lightning were able to keep pace in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division. With 79 points, Tampa Bay is occupying the first wild card spot and also is just one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the division.
Bishop has been a big part of that success as he is among the league leaders with 31 wins, five shutouts, a 2.10 goals against average and .929 save percentage.
The 27-year-old, in his first season as a full-time starter, had struggled to string victories together recently, but won a second outing in a row for the first time since late January with a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Bishop made 23 saves in his eighth career shutout and surpassed Nikolai Khabibulin's 2002-03 franchise record of 30 wins in a season.