EDMONTON — The last thing coach Jon Cooper wanted to do was speculate about how the Lightning might have to move forward without goaltender Ben Bishop.
"Let's just wait to make that determination when we find out what's wrong with him," Cooper said.
Bishop, one of the league's top goalies, was hurt 4:18 into the first period of Sunday night's 5-3 loss to the Oilers at Rexall Place. He had an X-ray and will be re-evaluated today for what the team said was an upper-body injury that is believed to be to his right hand or arm.
A serious injury would be another huge blow to the Lightning, which already has put forth mammoth effort to overcome the absence of center Steven Stamkos, out since Nov. 11 with a broken right tibia.
Bishop, 27, is second in the league with a .935 save percentage, tied for second with 22 wins and fourth with a 1.86 goals-against average and tied for first with four shutouts.
"If it comes back and he's out for two months, I'm sure that'll probably be a little bit of an issue," Cooper said. "But it's hard to speculate. I don't know what the injury is, but I don't think it's going to be serious. I hope not, anyway."
"We've faced adversity before with 'Stammer,' and we've missed a lot of key players for a lot of games," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We can handle it."
Bishop's replacement, Anders Lindback, was solid in a tough spot and made some acrobatic saves. But he received little help in the third period as goals by Boyd Gordon and Taylor Hall broke a 3-3 tie.
It was a disappointing end as Tampa Bay (25-13-4), which lost its five-game road winning streak, rallied from a first-period 3-1 deficit to tie the score on second-period goals from Hedman and Valtteri Filppula.
Nikita Kucherov had given the Lightning a 1-0 lead 2:43 into the game on his sixth goal of the season and third in as many games. But Jordan Eberle tied the score at 4:18 off a scramble in front of the net.
Replays showed Eberle hitting Bishop's right arm as he emerged from behind the goal line. Bishop's stick also was caught between the legs of teammate Tyler Johnson.
Bishop went to the bench, was looked at by head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan and then skated off the ice.
"He just kind of looked at me like (he) was done," Lindback said.
Lindback, who is 3-8-1 with a 3.21 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage, will be in line for more work if Bishop is hurt.
"Just another hurdle for our team," defenseman Matt Carle said of Bishop's injury. "If it's serious, it's just another one of those things that we'll have to deal with."
First Period—1, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 6 (Carle, Gudas), 2:43 (pp). 2, Edmonton, Eberle 13 (Nugent-Hopkins, Hall), 4:18. 3, Edmonton, Eberle 14 (Gagner, Smyth), 6:09 (pp). 4, Edmonton, Gazdic 2 (J.Schultz, Jones), 15:42. Penalties—J.Schultz, Edm (delay of game), :52; Killorn, TB, double minor (high-sticking), 4:39.
Second Period—5, Tampa Bay, Hedman 8 (Palat, Johnson), 8:47. 6, Tampa Bay, Filppula 16 (Carle, Purcell), 14:25. Penalties—Brewer, TB (high-sticking), 15:56.
Third Period—7, Edmonton, Gordon 7 (Hemsky, Smyth), 8:20. 8, Edmonton, Hall 16 (Ference, Gagner), 10:30. Penalties—Malone, TB (diving), 10:10; Hemsky, Edm (tripping), 10:10. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 4-14-9—27. Edmonton 12-9-5—26. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 1 of 1; Edmonton 1 of 3. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Bishop (1 shots-0 saves), Lindback 3-8-1 (4:18 first, 25-21). Edmonton, Bryzgalov 3-5-2 (27-24). A—16,839 (16,839). T—2:27. Referees—Brad Watson, Kyle Rehman. Linesmen—Mike Cvik, Vaughan Rody.