WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final

Heading into Game 4, people were wondering if New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist would burst out of his slump. Now the focus shifts to the other net, as Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop hopes for a better Game 5.

The series shifts back to Madison Square Garden after two action-packed games in Tampa, and the winner will take a crucial 3-2 series lead. You can watch the action on NBCSN and stream it via NBC Sports Live Extra:


Cooper believes Callahan will bump the slump tonight


Ryan Callahan hasn’t registered a point in nine games dating back to Game 7 of the Bolts first round series with the Detroit Red Wings.

Despite the drought, Tampa head coach Jon Cooper feels tonight is the night the 30-year-old finally bumps the slump.

“Probably tonight’s the night he’s going to score, because he does that on big stages and he’s probably going to do it in the building that he grew up as a hockey player,” Cooper said.

Callahan has three assists in 16 playoff games while averaging 17:27 in ice time. He’s also battled back from an emergency appendectomy.

“I don’t judge him on, well, he hasn’t scored a goal in the series. Ryan Callahan brings so much to our team in the locker room, on the ice, his physical play,” Cooper said. “He’s a pain in the butt in front of the net, and he just wears his heart on his sleeve.

“Everybody’s not going to score at the pace of (Steven) Stamkos or (Tyler) Johnson or Kuch (Nikita Kucherov) or those guys that are scoring, but you need other guys to help carry the load. And Callahan’s one of those guys.”

As for his coach’s guarantee, Callahan didn’t seem too bothered.

Bolts’ Carle available for Game 5

After saying there’s a chance defenseman Matt Carle could play Game 5 at MSG prior to boarding a flight for New York on Saturday, Lightning coach Jon Cooper was a little more optimistic Sunday morning.

“I think he’s going to be available,” said Cooper.

Carle missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury.

The 30-year-old, who has two assists in 16 playoff games this spring, left Game 3 following a collision with Derek Stepan.

Mark Barberio took Carle’s spot in the lineup in Game 4. The 25-year-old was a minus-1 in 8:44 of ice time.

Puck drop tonight is at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

There is a ‘chance’ Matt Carle could play Game 5


Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle, who has not played since leaving Game 3 with an undisclosed injury, is improving according to head coach Jon Cooper.

Carle has two assists and a minus-6 rating in 16 playoff games this season while averaging 16:35 in time on ice.

“He’s improving, so we’ll see,” said Cooper of Carle’s Game 5 status. “I guess there is always a chance, but we won’t be able to know. I haven’t seen him today.”

Carle left midway through the first period of the Bolts’ 6-5 overtime win on Wednesday night following a collision with Rangers’ forward Derek Stepan.

Mark Barberio took Carle’s spot in the lineup in Game 4. The 25-year-old was a minus-1 in 8:44 of ice time.

“I would say it’s inconsistent,” said Cooper of his team’s defensive play. “I think when there is long stretches where we’re not giving up anything, and then there is just a flurry. I look at (Friday) night’s game, we didn’t, I consider, give up a ton through the first 45 minutes.

“We gave up a ton in the last 15 minutes.”

Cooper on replacing Bishop: ‘That is asinine to me’


With Ben Bishop allowing five goals in each of his last two starts for the first time since March 2011, Bolts’ head coach Jon Cooper was asked on Saturday whether he’d consider a change in goal ahead of Game 5 Sunday night in New York.

“I understand your question,” Cooper said of a potential change in goal. “For someone to sit here and say, are we changing (in) goal? That is asinine to me.”

Bishop has 5.00 G.A.A. and an .807 save percentage as the Lightning split a pair of games on home ice.

“You never like to give up five goals in back-to-back games, but the best part is we’ve got another game,” said Bishop following Friday’s 5-1 loss.

The 28-year-old has a 3.50 G.A.A. and an .882 save percentage through the first four games of the series.

“He’s a great goaltender and we lean on him a lot, and we expect him to be better as we expect our team to play better,” said defenseman Braydon Coburn.

Added Jason Garrison: “I think he’s probably not happy about that, and I don’t think any of his teammates are really, so collectively as a team we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen. You can’t win in the playoffs very much letting those kind of goals up.”

Game 5 goes Sunday night at MSG. Puck drop is at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.