Skip to main content

Lightning G Ben Bishop practices ahead of Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final

NHL.com @NHL

CHICAGO - Ben Bishop practiced with Tampa Bay on Monday morning, and that basically was the only statement from the Lightning about their situation in goal.

Marshawn Lynch would have been proud.

The Lightning are staying quiet about who will be in net when they face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. There has been no word from the team on why Bishop left two different times during the third period of Tampa Bay's 4-3 victory on Saturday night, and the Lightning continued to deflect any inquiries about his status for Monday night.

"I feel like Marshawn Lynch right now," a smiling Bishop said after offering clipped answers to several questions. The star running back for the Seattle Seahawks is known for repeating the same answer over and over when he is required to talk to the media.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made five saves to help close out Tampa Bay's series-tying win in Game 2. The 20-year-old Vasilevskiy would make his first career post-season start if Bishop is unable to play.

"We have two capable goalies that we have 100 per cent confidence in who is going to play," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "One of them is playing. It's Vasi or Bish. That will be determined tonight."

It looks as if the Blackhawks will make a couple changes to their lineup. Veteran winger Bryan Bickell and rookie defenceman Trevor van Riemsdyk are expected to play for the first time in the series.

Bickell played just 4 1/2 minutes in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals in Anaheim. He told reporters Monday that he was dealing with vertigo.

"I feel a lot better from where it started," Bickell said. "Before, I wasn't near 100 per cent and I didn't want to risk the team in different situations. Now, I feel good and ready to go."

Asked if Bickell and van Riemsdyk are in the lineup for Game 3, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville answered "could play" each time. But Bickell skated with Brad Richards and Patrick Kane on Chicago's second line in practice, and van Riemsdyk was one of the first players off the ice.

Van Riemsdyk is coming back from surgeries on his left knee and right wrist. The rookie has not played for the Blackhawks since Nov. 16, but has been practicing with the team in anticipation of his NHL playoff debut.

"I've definitely come a long, long way since I first got called up," said van Riemdsyk, who rejoined the team on May 22. "Just being back out there on the ice and just going through everything, it's really helped a lot, and yeah, I feel way better than I did when I first got here after the wrist injury."

Van Riemsdyk has played in just 18 NHL games. When it comes to making his playoff debut, he said there is plenty of experience in the locker room to help him with what to expect, and he also has been talking to his brother James, a forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

James van Riemsdyk also played in the Stanley Cup Final during his rookie season with Philadelphia in 2009-10, when the Flyers lost to the Blackhawks in the final.

"Just to enjoy it, to just remember it's just a hockey game," Trevor van Riemsdyk said of his brother's advice. "There's a lot of stuff going on, maybe a little more hectic and stuff outside of the rink and before you get on the ice, but when you get on the ice it's just another hockey game."

___

Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

View More