Ben Bishop gets shutout in first Bolts start

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The knock against the Tampa Bay Lightning trading for Ben Bishop* was that he’s only put up nice numbers in a small sample size. That same criticism can be lobbed at his great first game on Thursday night, but don’t blame the Bolts for feeling at least a little optimistic.

Bishop stopped all 45 shots as Tampa Bay dominated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-0. That 45-for-45 performance matches a franchise record for saves in a shutout, according to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times.

This ties the two Southeast Division teams with identical 16-18-2 records for 34 points in 36 games.

Does that signal that the Lightning might be able to make an improbable run to a postseason birth or that they merely dragged the Hurricanes closer to the cellar with them? The answer’s unclear, but at least the Lightning can feel like they landed the potential goalie of the future.

(For at least one night.)

* Beyond giving up a promising young player in Cory Conacher, of course.