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After 'scare,' Bishop fortunate to be okay, will dress today

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is assisted by referee Steve Kozari after being injured during the third period of Saturday's game in San Jose.

AP photo

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is assisted by referee Steve Kozari after being injured during the third period of Saturday's game in San Jose.

6

December

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop admitted he was scared Saturday night.

With Sharks' Tomas Hertl's stick blade inadvertantly piercing through Bishop's mask and hitting him in the right eye, there was immediate pain and blurred vision. It's something that had never happened to him before.

"Anytime you get hit in the eye like that, you always think the worst," Bishop said. "Thought your eye was falling out."

Fortunately for Bishop, he feels fine, with no damage or scratches to the eye, just a cut, redness on his eyelid. With no vision issues, Bishop lobbied to start - "I'm ready to go" - but will instead serve as backup tonight against the Kings, with Andrei Vasilevskiy getting the start.

"You feel pretty fortunate, lucky nothing serious happened," Bishop said. "Obviously it could have been a lot worse."

Bishop called it a "really fluky play," with the mask goalies wear, "you have to have the perfect angle, the right height, right angle." He didn't blame Hertl, who was battling with J.T. Brown in front of the net when it happened. Bishop hadn't heard from Hertl, nor does he need to.

"Obviously he had no idea what he was doing," Bishop said of Hertl. "Nothing like he did anything on purpose."

Bishop looked pretty frantic when it happened, racing out of the crease, taking his mask and blocker off while getting attended to by team medical personnel. He felt fluid come out of the eye, as well as his contacts, with some blurred vision. But a doctor gave him some eye drops, which helped, and he slowly started to feel better, and get his vision back. By the end of the game, he was giving high fives to teammates as they entered the lockeroom.

Bishop remembered watching on TV in November when Penguins goalie Marc-Andrei Fleury got hit in the eye by a stick from defenseman Ben Lovejoy.

"That's twice," Bishop quipped. "Another one of those situations where you ask yourself, 'Why do you play goalie?'

Bishop was joking, of course, saying the injury won't impact how he plays going forward. He'll still see an eye doctor when the team returns to Tampa as a precaution.

"It's been however many years and that hasn't happened," Bishop said. "I'll take my chances."

[Last modified: Sunday, December 6, 2015 3:38pm]

    

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