Happy Birthday Goal Support

By on November 22, 2015


Nov 21, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) is congratulated by defenseman Matt Carle (25) as he had a shut out against the Anaheim Ducks at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Bishop is congratulated and more than likely wished a “Happy Birthday” by Matt Carle.  (photo Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Coming into the “Oil Can” tonight you might think the Lightning would be challenged by the red hot Anaheim Ducks.   Not the case as the Lightning blow out the Ducks on Ben Bishop’s birthday.

It was the first of two meetings with this West Coast rival. The Lightning will meet the Ducks in So Cal within 12 days.

Tampa Bay swept their series against the Ducks last season,  outscoring them 9-4.

The Lightning started 11 forwards and 7 defenseman, with Ryan Callahan back in the lineup and Ben Bishop as the net minder. “Big Ben” has only allowed one goal in 3 of last 4 starts.  Bishop has been plagued by lack of goal support.

With more than ten minutes gone in the first period, the game remains scoreless. Lightning defenseman Luke Witowski drops his helmet and gloves at center ice to challenge Anaheim winger Chris Stewart, to an old fashioned hockey fight. Coincidental minors are handed out at 2 minutes each. I retract my original statement, Witowski gets an additional 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct for removing his helmet.  All that and no action!

Patrick Maroon and Mike Santorelli get a big chance with only five minutes left in the first a 2 on 1. Bishop comes up with a huge save!

The crowd is alive and loud tonight, as they sing the familiar chant…. “Let’s Go Lightning.” End of first period 0-0. Shot count the Ducks 8, Lightning 6.

Looks like we have a sold out crowd here at the “Oil Can” and the second period is underway and wow!! Goal!! #47 Joel Vermin created a beautiful scoring chance for the Lightning and it works! #86 Nikita Kucherov notches his sixth goal of the season. Assist from #62 Andrej Sustr and #47 Joel Vermin. Welcome to the NHL,  it’s Vermin’s first NHL point.   It came in just Vermin’s 2nd NHL game.  Vermin said, “It’s really, really exciting to be here… It’s really nice to see I’m not too far away (playing in the NHL).  Now I saw what’s the standard to play in the NHL.”

Bishop keeps the score 1-1 by staying calm when #26 Ducks forward Carl Hagelin ripped one off the inside of the post to Bishop’s left. Bishop covered the puck as it bounced back into the crease. There’s a booth review to confirm “NO GOAL!”  “It was nice personally to have a little puck luck… I kind of saw it in the back of my eye, I tried to get out of the way of it,” said Ben Bishop.  Bishop added about tonight’s game, “It was pretty nice, it was a lot of fun, nice to get some goals.  It was the most electric I’ve seen the building all season.”

Shortly after it’s Hammertime ! #91 Captain Steven Stamkos notches his tenth goal of the season. Assist by #24 Ryan Callahan. The crowd is up and on their feet! It feels like the Bolts have not had too many two goals leads this season.

Still in the 2nd 13:11 the Lightning go on the power play. Once again at 13:49

It’s Hammertime ! #91 Steven Stamkos, his eleventh goal of the season. With helpers are #86 Nikita Kucherov and #90 Vladislav Namestnikov. Welcome back power forwards, its nice to see you.

At 17:12 still in the second there’s a crowd gathered behind net minder #31 Frederik Andersen, a little pushing and shoving. Coincidental minor roughing penalties are handed out two minutes each for J.T. Brown and Jonathan Marchessault for the Lightning. And two minutes Kevin Bieska, and four minutes for Ryan Kesler for the Ducks. The Bolts are once again on the power play.    The So. Cal Ducks kill it off.

At the end of the second period Lightning 3 Ducks 0. That’s the way uh huh, uh huh I like it! A little inspiration from K.C. and the Sunshine Band!

Third period puck drop, the crowd is singing the “Let’s Go Bolts” chant.

At 5:29 horn we go again, GOAL! #11 Brian Boyle with the teams even strength, he rips one by netminder Frederik Andersen, with an assist to #23 J.T. Brown. With just 18 shots, the Lightning have scored four  unanswered goals.  John Cooper said, “J.T. Brown leaves it all on the ice.  He’s been an agitator, he’s really rounded out his game.”

#4 Cam Fowler commits a two minute minor, and once again the Bolts are on the power play. At 10:01 that horn thing!  Goal! ……#42 Jonathan Marchessault wrists one in, his first goal of the season! Assists from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos.  There’s gonna be a party in Tampa tonight, five goals!  Seems like the good ole days of 2014-15.

 The game ending horn sounds, “The Bish” gets a shut out on his birthday!  Lightning 5 Ducks 0.

I get to hear my favorite song at the “Oil Can,” AC/DC For Those About to Rock, and the Tampa Bay Lightning raise their sticks at center ice.

“We Salute You.”

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