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Lightning goalie Bishop uncertain for Game 5

by Dan Rosen

TAMPA -- It is unknown if Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop can play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bishop did not play in Game 4 on Wednesday after taking part in the morning skate. Andrei Vaslevskiy made 17 saves, and the Lightning lost 2-1 at United Center.

The best-of-7 series is tied at 2-2.

"[Ben will] come in [Friday] and be looked at by our top-shelf, top-notch medical team and decisions will be made, but it's day-to-day," Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness, said Thursday while handling the media duties for coach Jon Cooper.

Cooper in his postgame remarks Wednesday said, "[Bishop] is going to play again in this series, there's no question. I just don't know which game."

Vasilevskiy, 20, who won Game 2 in relief of Bishop, made his first Stanley Cup Playoff start. He faced two shots in the first period and stopped 11 of 12 in the second. He stopped four of five in the third but allowed a second-chance goal to forward Brandon Saad with 13:38 remaining for the game-winner.

"I've watched Ben for a long time now and I've never seen him as nervous as he was [Wednesday] night when he wasn't playing," Bowness said. "He'd walk into the trainers' room and he was all wound up."

Bowness gave Bishop credit for being honest with his health assessment prior to Game 4, particularly because he made 36 saves in a 3-2 win in Game 3, when he was clearly laboring.

"I've got nothing but respect for Ben," Bowness said. "For him to play the way he did in Game 3 with the injury, give him full marks. He wants it as bad as anybody and that shows you. But he also knows the value of the position, the importance of the position. You've got to be 100 percent, and he didn't feel he was, so the right call was made."

Vasilevskiy, the fourth youngest goalie to make his first Stanley Cup Final start, was backed up Wednesday by Kristers Gudlevskis.

"I thought [Vasilevskiy] was our best player," Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison said. "He kept us in it. He made some big saves. I'm not sure of [Bishop's] status and I don't know who will be in net in Game 5, but we just have to play the same way."


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