Lightning without Ben Bishop and Steven Stamkos for Game 4
Lightning goalie Ben Bishop continued to make progress in his recovery from a left leg injury, participating in his second straight team skate.
But Bishop won't play tonight in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, holding out hope there's a chance for Sunday's Game 5.
"We'll see," Bishop said. "Take it day by day."
Bishop, who got hurt in Game 1, worked out on one half of the ice, trying different side to side and up and down movements. He also faced shots, but didn't appear to be moving as quickly or forcefully. "It's getting better," Bishop said of his range of motion. "(Friday) was better than (Thursday). Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will make his third straight start in net, having stopped 82 of 89 shots the past two.
"That's the last thing we have to worry about right now is the goaltending situation," captain Steven Stamkos said. "If it weren't for Vasy the last couple games, it could be a lot worse."
Speaking of Stamkos, he also will not play tonight. But Stamkos continued to participate in team skate, still hoping he can return in the playoffs, but understanding he might not be able to.
"As I said since day one, I wouldn't be working if I didn't think there was a chance," Stamkos said. "There's just also a chance it may not."
When asked about resisting a hockey player's natural urge to play through it, Stamkos put it all in perspective. "It's a little different when it's pain you're playing through," he said. "I have no pain. It's more frustrating because it's just not safe. I think there's a big difference between playing through pain and playing with your life at risk. It's easier to comprehend with that one. I've played through a lot of pain. I don't feel any pain. That's the toughest part, physically feeling ready, just internally not being ready. I can't feel or see that."
More from morning skate: The Lightning believes it can bounce tonight if it gets back to its identity, the Penguins beating them at their own game. "We're a puck possession team and we don't have the puck enough," D Matt Carle said. "We need to get back to playing our game." Tampa Bay also needs to stop the Penguins line with Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin, which has been a force all postseason long."They complement each other well," Carle said. "They have the combination of grit and speed and fast on pucks. They get on the forecheck, seem to be able to find each other in the offensive zone. That's what makes them difficult to play against." Due to ice issues at Amalie Arena, both teams could only use 3/4 of the sheet for morning skates, a bumper divider put in place. It isn't expected to impact the game, but players tried to remember the last time they played with bumpers. "Probably house league hockey," Stamkos quipped.