Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bishop's injuries a concern for Lightning

Debut: Lightning center Vlad Namestnikov, recalled from AHL Syracuse, played 11:55 against Detroit in his first NHL game.


Debut: Lightning center Vlad Namestnikov, recalled from AHL Syracuse, played 11:55 against Detroit in his first NHL game.

TAMPA — For the third time in a month on Thursday, Lightning G Ben Bishop left a game with an injury.

"That's something you don't see often," coach Jon Cooper said. "I don't know if I've ever seen that, actually."

"Clearly there is a concern," he said about his No. 1 being banged up. "To start games and not finish when I'm not the one giving him the hook … he's having health issues, for sure."

That concern played itself out before Saturday's 4-2 win over the Red Wings. Cooper said he might warm up Bishop, Cedrick Desjardins and Kristers Gudlevskis (called up from AHL Syracuse as insurance) before naming a tandem. As it turned out, only Bishop and Gudlevskis warmed up, and Bishop got the start.

None of that diminished the worry about Bishop, who left the Jan. 5 game at Edmonton with a wrist injury, the Jan. 30 game at Ottawa after he was inadvertently kicked in the head by teammate Nikita Kucherov and Thursday against the Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury.

"Ben doesn't pull himself out of games because he doesn't want to play," Cooper said. "He's pulling himself out of games because it's extremely painful to play. So the Olympic break (which begins today) is probably going to help him."

Tampa Bay is expected to get back C Steven Stamkos (leg) and C Valtteri Filppula (ankle) after the break, which Cooper said will also be welcome for "a bunch of other guys who are on the cusp of not playing (Saturday) but are going to gut this one out."

Most notable of that group probably is C Tyler Johnson, who has been limping since taking a puck off his left foot Tuesday against the Wild.

Asked if the time off is expected to heal Bishop, Cooper said, "Let's hope so. I would imagine he's going to feel much better in two weeks."

Game time: As if playing his first NHL game wasn't big enough, C Vlad Namestnikov got to play against the Red Wings, the team he idolized growing up in a Detroit suburb and for which his uncle, Slava Kozlov, played.

"It's really special," said Namestnikov, 21, the No. 27 overall pick of the 2011 draft who was called up from Syracuse because of Filppula's injury. "I mean, there are so many emotions and so many thoughts, there are just too many. Just try to settle down and enjoy my first games."

Namestnikov, 5 feet 11, 171 pounds, who had 13 goals, 30 points in 31 games for the Crunch, played with J.T. Brown and Kucherov, a successful line at Syracuse. He did not get a shot but had a hit and a takeaway, and was 3-for-6 on faceoffs. He said he was "shocked" at first at how faster the game is in the NHL.

"But I settled down," he said. "The nerves settled down, too."

"I couldn't have asked for more," Cooper said. "I thought he was outstanding. He did everything we asked. You would never know it was his first NHL game."

Odds and ends: Kucherov failed on his second penalty shot of the season. … LW Ondrej Palat's second-period goal broke the Lightning's 0-for-17 streak on the power play. … The game was the 6,000th in Red Wings history. …Detroit C Pavel Datsyuk's had an assist for his 800th career point. … Lightning D J.P. Cote cleared waivers and was reassigned to Syracuse. … Because of the Olympics, rosters are frozen until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 23.

Bishop's injuries a concern for Lightning 02/08/14 [Last modified: Sunday, February 9, 2014 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  2. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  3. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury


    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.
  4. A rare treat Saturday for Rowdies: a home playoff game


    ST. PETERSBURG — Rowdies fans, set to be rewarded with their first home playoff match in five years, can also take a little credit for it.

    From left, Georgi Hristov, Joe Cole and Marcel Schafer are among the Rowdies’ top scorers.
  5. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs


    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times