Sunday, June 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Bishop to miss game against Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — For Ben Bishop, the first sign of trouble came before Sunday's game with the Oilers when he took a shot off his right hand during warmups.

But the pain subsided and the Lightning's star goaltender said he didn't think much of it until 4:18 of the first period. That was when he slid to his right trying to stop Jordan Eberle's goal, his stick caught between the legs of teammate Tyler Johnson and his hand twisted.

"That play really fired it up, and it was very painful," Bishop said Monday. "It must have been pretty tender."

Bishop left the game and won't dress tonight against the Jets at the MTS Centre as Cedrick Desjardins was called up from AHL Syracuse to back up Anders Lindback.

When Bishop spoke Monday, his hand was not wrapped and seemed only a bit swollen. He said he probably could grip a stick, "but I just don't know how effective I would be."

He is listed as day to day, though a firm diagnosis and how long he will be out won't be known until results come back from tests he was expected to take Monday or today.

"Deep down," coach Jon Cooper said, adding Bishop was not scheduled to play tonight anyway, "I'm not feeling this has serious implications," though he went on to tell the old joke about what happens to people who assume.

Losing Bishop, 27, for a long time could be a serious blow. He entered Monday tied for second in the league with 22 wins (22-5-3), second with a .935 save percentage and fourth with a 1.86 goals-against average.

Lindback, 25, whose stats are not totally in synch with his level of play, is 3-8-1 in 13 games with a 3.21 GAA and .883 save percentage.

"The unfortunate bounces he's been getting are uncanny," Cooper said.

No excuses, Lindback said.

"I look at my game and maybe just small errors that make me an inch deep (in the net) and make the puck go in," he said. "For the most part I'm playing good. If I can just take that little, little extra step, I will make a few more saves and I think it will turn around."

"(Bishop) has been playing unbelievable," Lindback added. "Hopefully, he's not out too long. But this is my chance. Hopefully, I can get into a little bit of rhythm. I think that will help my game, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

It has been quite a season for the Lightning and injuries.

The list has been as long as nine players, and the team has been without center Steven Stamkos since Nov. 11 because of a broken right tibia.

The key to survival, Cooper said, is not to fall into what he called a pity party: "We just can't sit here and say, 'Oh, well, Ben Bishop is out. Here we go again.' "

"We faced adversity before with Stammer," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We can handle it."

MORE INJURIES: Right wing J.T. Brown and center Valtteri Filppula missed Monday's practice for what the team called body maintenance. Both could play against the Jets, Cooper said, though Brown, whose right shoulder was wrapped after Sunday's loss to the Oilers, is more questionable. Of both, Cooper said, "There's some soreness going on."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

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