Ben Bishop starting against Sabres
The Lightning should get a boost tonight with the return of goalie Ben Bishop, who will start against the Sabres.
Bishop isn't going to turn things around single-handedly. Tampa Bay (19-19-4) is coming off a four-game losing streak, and is now six points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo is just one point behind the Lightning. But Bishop is 9-0-1 with a 1.57 goals against average in 10 career starts against the Sabres, so that helps.
Bishop got a chance to see the games from a different perspective while sitting out three weeks with a lower body injury.
"It's about finding consistency night in, night out," Bishop said. "Just find a way to get it done. This time of year, doesn't matter how you get a win - pretty, ugly, doesn't matter. Got to find a way to get points."
The Lightning is getting healthier. Both Brian Boyle (lower body) and Braydon Coburn (upper body) are expected to play tonight, with coach Jon Cooper calling the game-time decisions.
Wing Ryan Callahan (lower body) appears out, as forward Gabriel Dumont says he will make his season debut. Dumont, called up two days ago, will be the 33rd different player to appear in a game for the Lightning this season. Dumont said coaches told him to bring similar energy to Callahan's game. He'll play with Cedric Paquette and Michael Bournival. "Just be in on the forecheck, creating turnovers, being hard to play against," Dumont said. "Everytime you go on the ice try to bring a little spark.
Dumont might have been here earlier had he not missed two weeks with a groin injury and four weeks with an oblique injury. "It was hard, because (the Lightning) had so many injuries and seeing everybody getting called up," Dumont said. "But what am I supposed to do?"
D Luke Witkowski and D Andrei Vasilevskiy were the only two players to skate today, the expected scratches. So Nikita Nesterov is probably in.