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X-rays on Ben Bishop negative: 'We're hoping for the best'

Ben Bishop was carried off the ice on a stretcher with seven minutes left in the first, the Vezina Trophy finalist appearing to suffer a potentially serious lower body injury.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Ben Bishop was carried off the ice on a stretcher with seven minutes left in the first, the Vezina Trophy finalist appearing to suffer a potentially serious lower body injury.

The Lightning got some encouraging news on Ben Bishop, with coach Jon Cooper saying all x-rays on the All-Star goalie were negative.

"He's definitely hurt," Cooper said. "But there's nothing structurally wrong right now. That was a big relief."

It certainly didn't look good when Bishop went down with seven minutes left in the first period, holding his left knee in obvious pain. Bishop was carted off on a stretcher, the Lightning rallying for a 3-1 victory in Game 1 against the Penguins.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves in an impressive relief effort, and may be the starter for Game 2 Monday, with Bishop's status uncertain.

"We're hoping for the best," Cooper said.

Developing: For most of this season, goalie Ben Bishop carried the Lightning.

That's what made Friday's scene so devastating for Tampa Bay, Bishop carried off the ice on a stretcher with seven minutes left in the first, the Vezina Trophy finalist appearing to suffer a potentially serious lower body injury. It certainly didn't look good when Bishop fell awkwardly into the crease, grabbing his left knee, writhing in pain.

Teammates helplessly gathered around the crease, their MVP eventuallly leaving Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, his return unknown. The Lightning didn't have an immediate update. Backup Andrei Vasilevskiy replaced him.

Bishop, a first-time All Star, helped the Lightning advance the first two rounds, having already played without top scorer Steven Stamkos (blood clot) and top-pairing defenseman Anton Stralman (fractured left leg). But midway through the first period, Bishop's stick got stuck in Penguins' Patric Hornqvist, who was behind the net. Bishop's tried to turn, landing awkwardly on his left leg. Soon, head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan and medical director Dr Ira Guttentag coming to his aid.

The Consol Energy Center crowd gave Bishop an ovation as he was carted off. It only got worse for the Lightning, with center Tyler Johnson leaving in the final minute of the first after appearing to hurt his right knee in a knee-to-knee hit by Chris Kunitz.

[Last modified: Saturday, May 14, 2016 1:13am]

    

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