Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop stopped 24 shots for his first NHL playoff victory yesterday, a 5-1 win over Detroit that evened their opening-round Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.
Tyler Johnson had two goals for the Lightning, who dropped Game 1 while outplaying the Red Wings for most of a 3-2 loss. Alex Killorn and Andrej Sustr scored in second period before Johnson's breakaway goal finished a three-goal flurry that put Tampa Bay up 4-0.
Bishop lost his bid for a shutout when Detroit's Tomas Tatar scored at 5:49 of the third period. The 6-foot-7 goaltender won a career-best 40 games during the regular season and is one of the reasons the Lightning feel good about their chances of making a deep run in the playoffs.
Despite the loss, the Red Wings return home for Game 3 on Tuesday night feeling fortunate the series is tied. They did not play particularly well in either of the two games at Amalie Arena, but escaped with the opener thanks to an outstanding playoff debut by goalie Petr Mrazek.
Mrazek, 23, was pulled yesterday after Tampa Bay's three-goal second period, replaced by the struggling, but much more experienced Jimmy Howard, who gave up Tampa Bay's final goal to Valtteri Filppula on a power play in the closing minutes.
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Johnson scored on the power play just over three minutes into the game, giving Tampa Bay its first lead of the series. He beat Mrazek again in the second period, less than five minutes after Sustr's first career playoff goal made it 3-0.
The Lightning, who haven't won a playoff series since 2011, ended a six-game postseason losing streak after dominating the series opener -- outshooting the Red Wings 46-14 -- but also going 0 for 7 on the power play and yielding a short-handed goal that proved to be the difference in a 3-2 loss.
Detroit was outshot 30-24 this time, but still didn't put much pressure on the Lightning defense.
Blues 4, Wild 1: Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals in the first period and then had an empty-netter for his first career playoff hat trick, leading host St. Louis over Minnesota that evened their Western Conference series at a game apiece.
Tarasenko had an assist and no shots in a 4-2 loss in Game 1, but responded with an impressive performance more in line with his play in the regular season. The dynamic winger ran his playoff total to seven goals in nine games.
Patrik Berglund's unassisted goal past Devan Dubnyk made it a two-goal cushion with 1:58 to go for the Central Division champions, who will carry momentum to Minnesota for Game 3 on Monday night. -- AP