If Ben Bishop is nervous about his future with the trade deadline only a few days away, he’s translating that anxiety into superb play.
On Thursday, it was perfect play.
Bishop provided the backbone for yet another tight-checking victory, shutting out the New York Rangers 3-0 — his first shutout with the Senators and the second of his career.
The highlight was his diving stop off Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh with the Senators nursing a tender 1-0 lead late in the third period. Guillaume Latendresse then provided the insurance.
Bishop was so sharp, he began hearing “BISH-OP, BISH-OP” chants from the 19,447 fans at Scotiabank Place.
“Awesome,” he said. “These are some of the best fans I’ve ever played in front of, if not the best. It’s a lot of fun to play here and they make it worth it, every second.”
Yet with the trade deadline looming, Bishop is part of the Senators’ embarrassment of riches in goal and there’s always the possibility that general manager Bryan Murray could swing a deal if he received what he wants — an offer he can’t refuse.
Bishop alluded to that, but late Thursday, he was cherishing his first Senators shutout, spending 15-20 minutes signing autographs before going to the dressing room.
“It’s real exciting,” he said. “It’s nice to do that in front of these fans. Hopefully, it’s not the last. We’ll see going forward here, but that was a lot of fun.”
Senators coach Paul MacLean:
“I thought (Bishop) and the penalty killing,” when asked about the keys to the victory.
“We do have a lot of discussions about it, but right now, we’re coming up with the right guy,” on how the coaching staff decides on which goaltender to start.
“I thought Mika (Zibanejad) was our best forward tonight. He’s more consistent as a player and with that consistency comes confidence. When you gain confidence as a player, your size and your skill and your speed and all your talents have an opportunity to come out because you’re not playing tight.”
“The few times we didn’t (play sound defence), the goalie stepped up for us. We were under a little bit of pressure in the third and (Bishop) made some great stops. We’re used to this, so that’s nice.”
“That was a good screen (by Zibanejad), a really good screen, he’s got a good nose for the net and I told him he better not have touched that (shot). I told him if you had touched it, don’t say it … I’m joking” describing the pivotal second goal of the game.
0: Rick Nash shots
1: Brad Richards shots
1-for-2: Senators’ success rate on power play
0-for-4: Rangers’ success rate on power play
16: Senators with at least one shot on goal
16: Blocked shots by Rangers
18: Blocked shots by Senators
18-9: Kyle Turris record in faceoff circle
22:00: André Benoit ice time, a career high