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Tampa Bay – Ben Bishop wasn't all that good in Game 1 but he certainly was Saturday.

Bishop stopped 23 shots and looked like the elite regular season goaltender he's been the last two seasons while helping lead Tampa Bay to a 5-1 victory over the Red Wings.

"He was really good," Tomas Tatar said. "We have to obviously screen a little better and attack the net better. He had a good game."

The Red Wings had two power plays in the second period but Bishop was at his best, turning aside several quality chances.

The Lightning increased their lead from 1-0 to a four-goal lead by the end of the period.

Bishop felt it was important to get that first victory before the series headed back to Detroit.

"It's important," said Bishop, who earned his first NHL playoff victory. "Obviously we thought we played well enough in the first game to win and we didn't, so it was important to come out and play like we did tonight. Obviously it's going to be a little tougher in Detroit, but looking forward to it. It should be fun."

Bishop allowed three goals on 14 shots in Game 1 but looked much more poised and sure of himself Saturday while facing more shots.

"I felt a lot better than last game," Bishop said. "A lot better, night and day almost."

The only goal Bishop allowed was a deflection by Tatar, who had the puck bounce off him on a slap shot from Kyle Quincey.

"I don't think he even saw it," Bishop said.

After two games in which the Lightning largely outplayed the Red Wings, Bishop feels the Lightning must play a similar brand of hockey.

"Now on the road, we have to keep this tempo," Bishop said. "It's important we just play the same way."

Even keel

The Lightning felt they played well enough in Game 1 to win.

As long as they maintained that type of quality, captain Steven Stamkos felt good things could happen.

"We could have felt sorry for ourselves but we're a confident group, we've had a quiet confidence all season, and we knew that if we played the same way and competed and executed the game plan, eventually it would go our way," said Stamkos, who had two assists and four hits.

How strange can hockey be? The Lightning scored twice on 46 shots in Game 1, yet scored five times on 30 shots in Game 2.

"It's funny how it goes sometimes," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We just have to keep plugging away. I liked the way we played in these first two games, and we got five tonight, which shows we can put the puck in the net."

Ice chips

The Lightning went with the same lineup as Game 1. Defensemen Jason Garrison (upper body) and Mark Barberio and forward Jonathan Drouin were scratches.

… Stamkos got into a battle scrum with Kyle Quincey early in the first period which led to Quincey earning an extra two minutes on roughing and the Lightning converting on the power play with Tyler Johnson scoring.

"We're just sticking up for each other," Stamkos said. "We've done that all year, that's been a characteristic of this team. Whether it had an effect on the game, obviously Johnny (Johnson) was nice to get it going on the power play there and get the boys going.

"But we stuck together all game. We played physical, we played hard, and finally the hard work paid off."

… The second period goal by Andrej Sustr was his first career playoff goal — and first this season and only second in his career.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tkulfan

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