LIGHTNING (13-11-3) at KINGS (16-8-1)
TV: SUN, FS-W
The Tampa Bay Lightning will have goalie Ben Bishop available Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.
Bishop left the Lightning's 4-3 win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday with 11:10 left in the third period after he was hit in the mask and right eye by the stick of Sharks forward Tomas Hertl. Although Bishop experienced pain and blurred vision after the hit, his vision returned to normal after the game and there was no damage or scratches to the eye.
"Anytime you get hit in the eye like that, you always think the worst," Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday. "You feel pretty fortunate, lucky nothing serious happened. Obviously it could have been a lot worse."
Bishop, who will visit an eye doctor when the Lightning return to Tampa Bay, will back up Andrei Vasilevskiy against the Kings.
"I told them I was ready to go, didn't play the last 10 minutes," Bishop said.
Vasilevskiy made seven saves in relief of Bishop on Saturday, and is 2-3-0 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in six games since coming off injured reserve.
Tampa Bay has won five of its past seven games, is 5-0-0 against the Pacific Division and can complete a 3-0-0 California trip with a victory Sunday.
"I think they have star power, and they have the back end, with [Victor] Hedman and [Anton] Stralman on the one pair is probably as good a pair as there is in the League in terms of distributing the puck up the ice or carrying the puck up the ice," Kings coach Darryl Sutter told LA Kings Insider after the morning skate. "We have to handle them, and obviously they have very good goaltending."
Los Angeles scored a season-high five goals in a 5-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday and is 5-0-0 in its past five games at Staples Center. The Kings' 10 wins on home ice are tied for second most behind the New York Rangers (11) and will complete a perfect four-game homestand with a victory Sunday.
"Never talked about it once," Sutter said. "Try to do it a game at a time and know who our opponent is and start the game with one point and see if there's a way to get two."
Here are the projected lineups:
Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Steven Stamkos
Jonathan Drouin - Vladislav Namestnikov - Nikita Kucherov
J.T. Brown - Brian Boyle - Ryan Callahan
Joel Vermin - Jonathan Marchessault - Erik Condra
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Matthew Carle - Jason Garrison
Braydon Coburn - Andrej Sustr
Injured: Ondrej Palat (ankle), Cedric Paquette (upper body), Tyler Johnson (undisclosed)
Scratched: Nikita Nesterov
Tanner Pearson – Anze Kopitar – Marian Gaborik
Milan Lucic – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli
Andy Andreoff – Nick Shore – Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford – Jordan Weal – Jordan Nolan
Brayden McNabb – Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin – Alec Martinez
Christian Ehrhoff – Jamie McBain
Injured: Dwight King (foot), Matt Greene (shoulder), Trevor Lewis (upper body)
Scratched: Jordan Weal, Derek Forbort
Status report: Lewis was injured at practice Friday and did not skate Sunday. … Quick was first off the ice and will start for the second straight game. … Including Quick, the Kings will play the same lineup. … Stamkos could play his fourth straight game at right wing after spending most of the season at his natural center position.
Who's hot: Kucherov scored twice in the Lightning's win Saturday. … Brown has six assists in his past nine games. … Carter is on a five-game point streak (1-4-5) and Gaborik has points in three straight (2-2-4). … Kopitar has points in three straight (1-3-4) and eight points in his past seven. Lucic has five points in his past five games (3-2-5).