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Lightning's Bishop takes shots, Cooper encouraged

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 12:18 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / Lightning-Canadiens series blog

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Lightning's Bishop takes shots, Cooper encouraged

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was on the ice Tuesday morning and took a few shots as he continues his recovery from an upper-body injury that has sidelined him since April 8.

However, coach Jon Cooper ruled out any possibility of Bishop making a miraculous recovery to start Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F).

"No chance," Cooper said. "But it's encouraging to watch what's happening."

Bishop was on the ice with goaltending coach Frantz Jean and two members of Cooper's coaching staff about an hour before his teammates and he remained on the ice for the start of their morning skate to prepare for the game against the Canadiens.

"There are so many steps he has to go through," Cooper said. "But it's good to see him on the ice, he's taking shots now. I wouldn't say [Bishop could play in Game 5]. We have to extend this."

Bishop's teammates were also encouraged to see him on the ice. Down 3-0 in the series and facing elimination Tuesday, giving Bishop a chance to maybe come back for a potential Game 6 is added motivation for the Lightning to reach that point.

"We want to get him a chance to play in the playoffs and be that same goalie he was for us in the regular season," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "It's just that type of year, injuries and things that we've had to overcome. It's great to see him out there, hopefully that can spark some guys."

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For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

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