Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Ben Bishop's rehab progresses for Lightning

TAMPA — Ben Bishop on Friday took another step in his rehabilitation of an injured left elbow as he took shots for the first time since he was hurt April 8 against the Maple Leafs.

Granted, the Lightning's No. 1 goaltender skated on his own and the shots came from goaltenders coach Frantz Jean. But, Jean said, "(Friday) was a very, very good day."

There still is no timetable for Bishop's return other than a hope he will be ready if the first-round playoff series with the Canadiens is a long one.

Bishop, who has been seen alternately wearing a wire brace and an Ace bandage on his left arm, still isn't talking formally to reporters, though he joked Friday that he misses his daily meeting with the media.

"Not my call," he said, indicating it's an organizational order.

Despite not being in the lineup, Bishop is participating in all team meetings, is studying video of the Canadiens and hanging out in the locker room as much as possible, Jean said.

"He's taking the opportunity to take in as much information as he can from the Montreal side, how they play, the atmosphere, the buzz of the playoffs and the way things happen and are done in the playoffs," Jean said. "For him, as much as he's not involved directly, it's certainly an experience he can put in his baggage for the future."

As for now, Bishop is day to day and at the mercy of Jean's lethal snap, which he fired at close range into Bishop's leg pads so the goalie could concentrate on rebound situations.

Asked if he has to be careful not to shoot at Bishop's left arm, Jean laughed. "You have to be careful, but I'm a good shooter."

PALAT OUT: Coach Jon Cooper indicated rookie LW Ondrej Palat was doubtful for Game 2, and Palat was indeed scratched.

Palat, with a team-best 59 regular-season points, left Game 1 early in the third period after a knee-to-knee hit with Montreal D P.K. Subban, though Cooper said Palat's injury is upper body.

Palat missed Sunday's regular-season finale because of a hard hit Friday from Columbus D Jack Johnson that included contact with Palat's head.

Palat also took a big hit in Game 1 from Montreal's Andrei Markov. Cooper said Palat does not have a concussion.

"It's a big hole for us, but we've dealt with this before," Cooper said. "Every team deals with it. Look at Montreal, they're probably saying the same thing about not having (forward Alex) Galchenyuk."

BIG EVENTS COMING? We know the Lightning has asked the league to host an All-Star Game and perhaps even a draft, and commissioner Gary Bettman said owner Jeff Vinik "vigorously reminded me of his interest when we were chatting. But it's not something I'm in a position to announce or discuss at this time."

"What Jeff has done here is nothing short of sensational," Bettman said, "but there are lots of teams that want these events, and we have to do the best we can to address all the interest.''

FILL-INS: Alex Killorn took Palat's spot on a line with C Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson, and rookie D Andrej Sustr and G Kristers Gudlevskis became the ninth and 10th Lightning players this season to make their Stanley Cup playoff debuts.

BIG SAVE: Who knows how Friday's game might have turned if rookie C Cedric Paquette could have scored with 4:30 left in the second period. But Canadiens G Carey Price went post-to-post to stone Paquette at the left post and preserve a 2-0 lead. "I just tried to lift it over Carey, but he made a great save," said Paquette, who whacked at a perfect pass from Teddy Purcell. "He knew I was coming. He's a great goalie. You have to give him credit."

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning played with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … It will not practice today before flying to Montreal for Sunday's Game 3.

     
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