Bishop shines, Lightning eliminate Red Wings in 5 games
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning can use a break - and they've earned it.
The defending Eastern Conference champions eliminated the Detroit Red Wings from the Stanley Cup playoffs in five games with a 1-0 victory on Thursday night.
Ben Bishop had 34 saves for his fourth career postseason shutout and Alex Killorn scored his second winning goal of the series with 1:43 remaining, ensuring the Lightning will have several days to rest and prepare for the next round.
''We need to get away and get healthy,'' coach Jon Cooper said.
Tampa Bay will meet either the Florida Panthers or New York Islanders in the second round. That first-round matchup is tied 2-2, with Game 5 on Friday night.
The Lightning didn't play their best as a team in the clincher, with Tyler Johnson among the players at less than 100 percent physically. The young center, part of a line that included Killorn and Nikita Kucherov, missed part of the second and third periods for an undisclosed reason.
''We've got guys (hurting),'' Cooper said. ''Johnson missed quite a bit of this game. We've got to get healthy. ... If we're going to go any farther than this, we need to be healthy.''
Cooper joked at the end of postgame press conference he hopes the Panthers-Islanders series goes the distance, with a decisive seventh game requiring the team to play a record number of overtimes.
''Any time you get rest this time of year, it's welcomed,'' Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said. ''It's nice to close it out when we had the opportunity. For doing that, now we get some rest.''
With Killorn, Johnson and Kucherov combining for 10 goals and 10 assists to take up the offensive slack with star Steven Stamkos sidelined after undergoing surgery for a blood clot near his right collarbone, the play of Bishop largely was overlooked in the opening round.
The Lightning were outshot 34-24 Thursday night and would be headed back to Detroit for a Game 6 if not for the way he performed.
''He stole the game,'' Detroit's Brad Richards said. ''You can talk about the power play, sometimes it's tough against a goalie.''
The Red Wings only scored eight goals in the series, though not because of a lack of opportunities.
Detroit finished 1 for 25 on the power play, and their futility was never more evident than in Game 5, when they failed to even get a shot on goal during a 5-on-3 advantage early in the opening period.
Bishop didn't allow a first-period goal in the entire series. The Red Wings only scored once in the third period, and that was a power-play goal by Richards in Game 2, which Tampa Bay won 5-2.
''It wasn't easy. Any game could have gone either way,'' Bishop said. ''We just scored a couple more goals there.''
The Red Wings, in the playoffs for the 25th consecutive season, lost in opening round for the fourth time in five years. They haven't made it past the second round since 2009, when they came within a win of repeating as Stanley Cup champions.
''We did a lot of good things except getting the puck behind Bishop,'' Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg said. ''Their best players outplayed our best players.''