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Bishop: Fans deserve better than Saturday’s showing

Dec 29, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta (21) leaps away from a shot on goal as he blocks Tampa Bay Lightning's Ben Bishop (30) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius) AP

Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens wasn’t a disaster for the Tampa Bay Lightning. They earned a point in the shootout loss, but that was due in no small part to goaltender Ben Bishop‘s efforts.

“Our timing was off. Our passes were off. Everything was off,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times. “It was a good thing Bishop was on because that could have gotten ugly for us quickly.”

Bishop turned aside 20 of 21 shots in regulation time, but he was beaten by Lars Eller in the shootout and none of the Lightning skaters could solve netminder Carey Price.

It was the Lightning’s first home loss since Dec. 7 and Bishop wasn’t happy about it.

“Maybe we thought it was going to be easy after winning all those games before the break, and we just didn’t show up to play,” Bishop said. “We can’t do that in front of our fans. They deserve better.”

That defeat also was a missed opportunity for the team to put some distance between them and the third-place Canadiens while maximizing the ground they gained against the Atlantic Division leading Bruins. Boston lost to the Ottawa Senators last night.

Just five points separate Montreal, Tampa Bay, and Boston in the battle for the division title.

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