TAMPA — Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is getting closer to a potential return, participating in Thursday's practice at Amalie Arena.
"A step in the right direction," he said.
Coach Jon Cooper said Bishop was doubtful for tonight's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final against the Penguins, so Andrei Vasilevskiy was expected to make his third straight start.
Bishop, who hurt his left leg in an awkward fall early in Game 1 of the series, split drills with Kristers Gudlevskis at one side of the rink, facing shots and working on his movements. He said that healing has been a slow process, especially when it comes to moving up and down.
"Still not there yet," he said. "But getting better."
Bishop remained hopeful he would return during the series and said it was been tough to get hurt late in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. He missed a game in last year's Stanley Cup final with a torn groin.
"There's two ways to look at it," Bishop said. "It's really bad luck, but at the same time, you're in the conference finals of the Stanley Cup, so there are only eight goalies who can get hurt.
"It's obviously unfortunate, but at the same time, we're still playing hockey, so that's the positive."