The Habs have history with getting in Ben Bishop’s wheelhouse — see here — and that trend continued on Sunday as they took a pair of third-period penalties on the Bolts goalie in an eventual 6-2 loss.
Despite the effort, Montreal’s moves moves don’t seem to have rattled Bishop much (.959 save percentage through two games) — and they don’t seem to have rattled his teammates much, either.
“They have been falling on him and hitting him — I think last night was obvious,” Lightning forward Brian Boyle explained on Tuesday. “[Torrey] Mitchell and [Brandon] Prust slew-footing him, those are penalties and they’re going to get called and they’re going to go in the box.
“We’re going to try and stay disciplined. We’ll protect our goalie as we see fit. But sometimes it’s OK to take a punch in the face in the playoffs if you’re going to go on the power play.”
Mitchell was called for tripping Bishop early in the third period and Tampa Bay converted with the man advantage, scoring its fourth and final PPG of the game. All told, the Lightning went 50 percent on the power play and used Montreal’s lack of discipline to revive a unit that had struggled coming into this series, as the Bolts were just 2-for-30 on the PP in Round 1 against Detroit.
As for the rough stuff, Boyle preached discipline on Tuesday, but also suggested his team was more than willing to step up and protect Bishop when the time calls. Evidence of that was on display last night, as Braydon Coburn dropped the gloves almost immediately after Prust ran Bishop — a move that Prust approved of, noting that the Bolts remained in control of the situation.
“I don’t know what [Prust] is thinking, and I don’t really care,” Boyle explained. “Everybody understands it’s a 6-2 game. I think [Coburn] did a great job in doing what he did.
“You see things happen like that in lopsided wins. You expect and be ready for them and as long as nobody’s injured, you just kind of forget about them.”