Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Bishop a finalist for Vezina Trophy

TAMPA — The Lightning's Ben Bishop was named one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's top goaltender.

The announcement, which came before Wednesday's Game 1 against the Islanders, wasn't a surprise, considering Bishop (35-21-4) led the NHL with a 2.06 goals-against average during the regular season, his .926 save percentage second. The other finalists are the Capitals' Braden Holtby and the Kings' Jonathan Quick, with the winner announced at the NHL awards in Las Vegas on June 22.

The league's 30 GMs cast their ballots for the Vezina after the regular season and before the playoffs. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman had said he'd vote for Bishop.

Bishop was a Vezina finalist after the 2013-14 season.

"It's a great accomplishment, I'm excited about it," Bishop said. "As a goalie you can't be nominated for an award like that without the guys in front of them. I put in a lot of work, so it's nice to get nominated for that."

SCARY MOMENT: Lightning RW Erik Condra left Wednesday's game five minutes in and didn't return after appearing to hit his head into the boards on a hit by Casey Cizikas.

"That's the worst thing about this game," C Brian Boyle said.

Condra was near his back boards attempting a pass when Cizikas hit him. Condra lost his balance and fell back into the boards. He stayed down, seemingly dazed, for a few moments before getting helped off and into the dressing room. Coach Jon Cooper didn't have an immediate update on Condra, though he said he didn't go to the hospital.

"He was just a little shaken up," Cooper said.

WAIT OVER: For the entire first-round series, F Jonathan Marchessault was a spectator, a healthy scratch for all five games of the Lightning's series win over Detroit. But Marchessault got his turn Wednesday, logging 4:34 in his 2016 playoff debut. D Matt Taormina and RW Mike Blunden were scratched.

STEPPING IN: G Andrei Vasilevskiy played well in his first appearance this postseason, making eight saves in the final two periods after relieving Bishop, who was pulled after allowing four goals in 13 shots.

NOT BAD: Islanders coach Jack Capuano left the bench midway through the third after getting hit in the face with a deflected shot but returned in the final minute. "I'm good," he said. "Just a little headache."

NUTS AND BOLTS: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot) was on the ice for the second straight day in his red non-contact jersey, one of several players participating in an optional skate. … Cooper had no update on D Anton Stralman (fractured leg), nor would he say when the defenseman would join a team skate. "Until you see it," Cooper said. "He's not playing." … All 12 Lightning "black aces" will host an autograph signing today from 12:30 to 1:30 at the Tampa Bay Sports store inside Amalie Arena, adjacent to Thunder Alley.

Contact Joe Smith at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

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