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Bishop expected to back up Lindback for Lightning

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS -- Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop is close to returning from a sprained right wrist that has kept him out of the past three games but all indications are backup Anders Lindback will play Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"No, I don't think so," was the response from Lightning coach Jon Cooper when asked after the morning skate if Bishop was ready. "We're going to give him a workout today and see how it goes. If not tonight, he's definitely a possibility for tomorrow (at the New York Rangers)."

The plan appears to be for Bishop to serve as the backup, though. Cedrick Desjardins told reporters he was going back to Syracuse of the American Hockey League Monday afternoon.

Bishop is 22-5-3 with a 1.86 goals-against average and was being pushed by some to be named to U.S. team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but he was not selected. Lindback is 5-9-1 with a 3.17 GAA and made 35 saves in a 6-3 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Cooper also said defenseman Victor Hedman will play despite taking a shot to the head by Flyers forward Scott Hartnell.

However, defenseman Sami Salo will not play for the Lightning (27-14-4). He was hit in the ankle by a shot Saturday and left in the first period. Cooper said the injury did not appear to be a long-term problem. Andrej Sustr is expected to replace Salo.

For Columbus, it's no surprise that No. 1 goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will start after Curtis McElhinney played in the 6-3 win at the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

Coach Todd Richards wanted to be careful with Bobrovsky after he blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Friday in his second game after missing a month with a groin strain. He has stopped 76 of 79 shots since returning, including 40 in a 4-3 shootout win at the New York Rangers on Jan. 6.

The other lineup change will have Corey Tropp returning to the fourth line after being scratched Saturday. Defenseman Dalton Prout, who took Tropp's spot against the Jets, will be a healthy scratch.

Blue Jackets forward Derek MacKenzie said beating the Jets was an important step after having played in Columbus the previous night. The Blue Jackets (21-20-4) have won three straight.

"We proved to ourselves that even with the tough travel that if we play our game and 20 of us do it together then, we might not feel 100 percent, but we can still be effective as far as energy," he said.

The projected lineups for the Lightning and Blue Jackets:


Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Martin St. Louis

Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Teddy Purcell

Ryan Malone - Nate Thompson - Nikita Kucherov

B.J. Crombeen - J.T. Brown - Jean-Philippe Cote

Andrej Sustr - Victor Hedman

Eric Brewer - Radko Gudas

Matthew Carle - Mark Barberio

Anders Lindback

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Richard Panik, Tom Pyatt

Injured: Keith Aulie (hand), Brian Lee (knee), Steven Stamkos (leg), Sami Salo (lower body)


Boone Jenner - Artem Anisimov - Nathan Horton

Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - RJ Umberger

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu - Corey Tropp

Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson

Ryan Murray - James Wisniewski

Nikita Nikitin - David Savard

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Dalton Prout

Injured: Cody Bass (thumb), Jared Boll (foot), Blake Comeau (knee), Marian Gaborik (collarbone), Jack Skille (upper body)

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