Fleury in for Penguins, still no Bishop or Stamkos
The Penguins have made a switch in goal, turning to veteran and Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Marc Andre Fleury for Game 5 tonight against the Lightning.
Fleury, who relieved Matt Murray in the third period of Game 4 in Tampa, hasn't started a game since late March. But wing Chris Kunitz said Fleury might have been their best player this season, coach Mike Sullivan believing it gives his team the best chance to win. The best of seven series is tied 2-2.
"We're going to go out there and play our best for him," Kunitz said.
For the Lightning, there won't be a change in net, with backup Andrei Vasilevskiy set to make his fourth straight start. Starter Ben Bishop participated in today's optional skate, but mostly worked on the side with goalie coach Frantz Jean.
Bishop, who suffered a lower left leg injury in Game 1, doesn't feel ready to return, and while he's hopeful to be back in this series, he won't rush it.
"It's tough being in the position we're in, kind of the last line of defense, you don't want to go out and play when you're not ready," Bishop said. "If you were maybe a forward you'd be okay to go out and tough through it. But as the last line of defense, you don't want to go out there and do that to your teammates. You've got to wait until you're ready to go and feel like you can help the team win."
The issue with Bishop is trying to feel comfortable doing certain movements, up and down, side to side, with his injury. He said he doesn't need to be 100-percent, as long as he feels good enough to be effective.
"I don't want to go out and give up a goal because you can't play your position, it wouldn't be fair to the guys," Bishop said. "You feel like you can get out there and help, but you want to make sure you're ready to be able to help."
"In most other positions in the sport I think I'd be okay. But goaltender, it's alot of unique movements that you don't really have to do in any other sport, any other position. It's tough to be a goaltender and have the injury I have."
There's also been no change in status for captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot), who continues to skate with the team. Stamkos won't play tonight in Game 5 and doesn't expect any new updates in the next few days.
More from morning skate: The Pens got dealt a big blow with defenseman Trevor Daley out for the rest of the postseason with a broken left ankle, suffered in Game 4. "He's a tough guy to replace, I've said that all along," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's really made our team a better team. You know, he's a mobile guy. He can move the puck. He's got real good offensive instincts. He's a real solid two-way defenseman, and it's hard to replace those guys, but we've done it all year, and we'll deal it again.".... D Anton Stralman, heading into his fourth game since returning from a seven week absence due to a broken leg, said he's not back to where he was before. "I think every game gets a little easier out there and a little more comfortable timing-wise and everything else," he said. "But I don't think I'm where I want to be yet. It's going to take a little time." C Tyler Johnson, after what was likely a painful trip to the dentist, was back at the morning skate, without a protective mask/shield. He was not available to the media this morning.