Tampa, Fla. – Lightning goalie Ben Bishop frustrated the Red Wings during last season’s seven-game series, shutting them out in Game 7.
Bishop was again a key player in Game 1 Wednesday night with 31 saves.
The Red Wings insist Bishop isn’t getting into their heads.
“Only if you let him, and we’re not going to let that happen,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s talented and knows how to use his size well and looks like he’s been extremely well coached.
“But like any goalie, the more second (chances) you get, the more traffic you get, the harder it is on them.”
Contain the triplets
Ondrej Palat has been replaced by Alex Killorn, but the other two members of The Triplets, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov, are still around. That line continues to produce against the Red Wings.
Kucherov had two goals and an assist, Killorn a goal and assist, and Johnson two assists, accounting for all of the Lightning offense in Game 1.
How do the Red Wings contain them?
“Make sure we play in their end more,” forward Darren Helm said. “They’re three guys who’ll capitalize on their chances. We just have to find ways to limit them.”
No fatigue for Hedman
The Red Wings need to find a way to tire Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.
A dominating figure in last season’s series, Hedman was again one of Tampa Bay’s best players with a team-high 29:26 of ice time on 35 shifts, with three hits and two shots on net.
With Anton Stralman (fractured leg) unavailable, Hedman likely will play close to 30 minutes per game and has shown the ability and conditioning to do so.
“In terms of his ability to jump into the play, and a number of their defensemen are active, we have to make sure we are physical with hard checks and make sure we bump him and stay above him,” Blashill said.
Hedman had a goal disallowed early in the third period that would have broken a 2-2 tie when video replay showed the Lightning were offside on the 4-on-2 rush Hedman finished with a thunderous goal.
“He’s hard to contain and when he has the engine going it’s a big plus for us,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.