Bolts need a less ‘ludicrous’ effort tonight

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The Tampa Bay Lightning may be one win away from the conference finals, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been playing their best hockey.

In fact, if not for goalie Ben Bishop, they would almost certainly not be one game away from the conference finals.

Heck, they may not have even survived the first round.

Last night, the Bolts took a 3-0 series lead over Montreal, beating the Habs, 2-1, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

“It was a weird game for us,” coach Jon Cooper said, per the Globe and Mail. “We went into a 52-minute prevent defense [after getting the game’s first goal]. It was ludicrous.”

In addition to “ludicrous,” it was reminiscent of Game 7 versus Detroit, which the Lightning won 2-0 despite being outshot 31-17.

Consider: in Bishop’s last four games, all wins, he’s surrendered just four goals on 135 shots, a save percentage of .970. He was the first star in Game 7 versus Detroit, the third star in Game 1 versus Montreal, and the second star last night.

Not surprisingly, the Lightning were saying this morning how they need to be better tonight…

Lose and they’ll head back to Montreal for Game 5 on Saturday, and we might just have ourselves a series.

Related: Stamkos on Johnson’s winner: ‘Like pulling a rabbit out of your hat’