Ben Bishop's resolve will be put to the test in East finals

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was publicly criticized for giving up 12 goals in a two-game span against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals.

Now, it's Ben Bishop's turn.

The Lightning goalie has given up 10 goals in the past two games. New York posted a 5-1 win in Game 4 Friday at Amalie Arena and the series is tied at 2-2 with Game 5 back in New York on Sunday night (8 p.m. ET) at Madison Square Garden.

"People are going to wake up in the morning and look at the box score and say, 'Oh, wow. Tampa got waxed.' But I think if you were in the building, you probably wouldn't see it that way," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.

Sure, there were a few goals Friday that Bishop had no chance of stopping. A few wacky bounces and the Rangers finished with a win in a game that Tampa dominated for much of the night. While New York was on the receiving end of some puck luck, Bishop still needs to do an overall better job if the Lightning can survive and reach the Stanley Cup finals.

"It definitely wasn't on him," Tampa forward Tyler Johnson said. "The whole team has to bounce back. The good thing for us is the leadership and character on our team. We've bounced back before. We've been in this position. You look at it this way: It's a best-of-three to get to the Stanley Cup. That's pretty cool."

At the other end of the ice, Lundqvist finished with a 38-save performance, and teammate Rick Nash provided a pair of goals. Even Martin St. Louis scored a power-play goal.

"You never want to give up 10 goals in two games, but we did and now we got to go back and look at it and adjust," Bishop said.

Nash's first goal hit the post first then ricocheted off Bishop's pad before it trickled over the line. The Rangers' Chris Kreider, completely untouched in front of the Tampa Bay net, pumped in a rebound. New York's third goal was a tough one for Bishop as a shot from Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle was sailing wide, but the puck hit Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman's leg and was redirected into the net.

"They capitalized on a couple of chances and it's one of those nights," Bishop said. "Third one looks like it's going wide and unfortunately it hits Heddy and goes in. It just seemed like one of those nights where they were getting the breaks."

St. Louis' goal and Nash's second of the game both came on the power play.

"It's not the way you want to play at home," Bishop said. "We played a pretty good first half of the game. They got a couple of bounces there and they capitalized on their chances. In the third period, towards the end there, we kind of got away from our play, but the first part of the game we played pretty well."

The Lightning dominated the second period but had nothing to show for it. Tampa generated 28 shot attempts in the period. New York had 10. During 5-on-5 play in the second, the Lightning's shot attempts were 23 to New York's 7. Despite that dominance, the Rangers scored twice and closed out the period with a 3-1 lead.

"If we play like that second period the rest of the series, we feel good about our chances," Johnson said. "It's a little unfortunate that we were down another goal after that second period. We played pretty well, but that's hockey. Sometimes you get the bounces, and sometimes you don't. There have been games where that's gone the other way for us, too. We really can't complain. You've got to suck it up and move on."

It's not all on Bishop. Defensively, Tampa Bay needs to be a lot more fundamentally sound in its own end. The Lightning realize they can score, but it's also about being defensively responsible.

"We let in five goals last game and that's not good enough," Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman said. "You don't win many games conceding five goals, so it's about tightening that up. I'm sure our offense is going to be there. It's been there all year. As long as we stay within our structure, work our forecheck and do all the right things, our offense is going to be there. It's about how we handle our defense, protecting our own net."

Even before Game 4, the Lightning knew they had to be better on the penalty kill. Tampa Bay gave up two power-play goals Friday. In fact, the Rangers have scored two power-play goals in each of the past three games.

"You look at the last couple of games, the penalty kill has to be better. It starts with me on the penalty kill," Bishop said. "That's six goals in three games. That's just unacceptable. ... You look at some of the other goals and there's a couple of things you might do different, but a couple of unlucky breaks. It's a long year. There's a lot of ups and downs. The law of averages will eventually go your way."

When asked if he'll be able to bounce back in Game 5 with a better performance, Bishop wasn't concerned: "Absolutely."