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Goalies, Filppula new injury concerns for Lightning

by Arpon Basu

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning backup goalie Anders Lindback is not likely to play before the Olympic break due to a lower-body injury and starting goalie Ben Bishop remains questionable to start the game Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens (1 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS), coach Jon Cooper said.

Bishop was forced to leave the game Thursday against the Ottawa Senators when he was struck in the head by the skate of teammate Nikita Kucherov. Bishop took part in the Lightning's practice at Bell Centre on Friday and said if he wakes up feeling well, he'll be able to play.

"It could have been a lot worse," Bishop said. "He kind of skimmed me. If he hit me direct on I don't know what would have happened.

Ben Bishop
Goalie - TBL
RECORD: 26-7-4
GAA: 2.01 | SVP: 0.932
"Hopefully I wake up in the morning and I feel OK. We'll have to wait and see what happens."

Bishop is third in the NHL with a .932 save percentage, fifth with a 2.01 goals-against average and tied for second with four shutouts.

"Bishop's been a big part of our team this year," Cooper said. "If he can't go the 19 other guys will have to step up around whoever's in net."

Lindback is out on a more long-term basis after a collision with Senators forward Cory Conacher in the second period Thursday. In spite of the injury Lindback finished the game.

"Pretty gutty performance by him because that happened sometime in the second period and he finished the game," Cooper said. "I give the kid a lot of credit but we probably won’t see him until after the Olympic break."

The Lightning recalled goaltenders Cedrick Desjardins and Kristers Gudlevskis from Syracuse of the American Hockey League late Friday night, and the possibility exists that both will dress for the game Saturday if Bishop feels he can’t play when he wakes up in the morning.

"We'll have a goalie [Saturday]," Cooper said. "I just don’t know what league he played his last game in."

Center Valtteri Filppula also left the game Thursday against Ottawa with an apparent lower-body injury and did not skate with the Lightning on Friday. Cooper said keeping Filppula off the ice was more of a precautionary move but said it is "doubtful" he will play against Montreal on Saturday.

"We might see him as soon as Tuesday," Cooper said. "We might see him [Saturday] but I doubt it."

The Lightning already are thin at center with Steven Stamkos continuing his recovery from a broken right tibia. Filppula gets 19:45 of ice time per game, second among healthy Lightning forwards, and he is second in team scoring with 40 points in 54 games.

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