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Vasilevskiy expected to start Game 2 for Lightning

Penguins counter with Murray looking to even best-of-7 series

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent


Eastern Conference Final

Lightning lead best-of-7 series 1-0

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

PITTSBURGH -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center on Monday.

Goalie Ben Bishop sustained a lower-body injury 12:25 into Game 1 on Friday. His stick tangled with Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist, who attempted to drive behind the net while Bishop twisted in the opposite direction. Bishop was removed from the ice on a stretcher.

Bishop did not participate in the Lightning's optional morning skate Monday. Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who did not speak to the media Monday morning, did not rule out Bishop starting Game 2 after practice Sunday.

Vasilevskiy, 21, made 25 saves in the 3-1 victory for his second career Stanley Cup Playoff win. He has not started since allowing four goals on 28 shots against the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-2 loss April 9.

"We have confidence in both goalies," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said. "It doesn't change our game plan. It doesn't change the way we need to play. Regardless of the goalie we have to play our best."

Vasilevskiy's previous playoff victory came in Game 2 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, when he made five saves in a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. In six career playoff games he has a 2.21 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Vasilevskiy has stopped 33 of 34 in two games in the 2016 playoffs.

The Penguins will start rookie goalie Matt Murray on Monday.

Murray has lost two of his past three games while allowing three goals in each. He has yet to lose back-to-back games in regulation during his NHL career, which consists of 13 regular-season games and 10 playoff games.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who took part in Tampa Bay's optional morning skate, will not play Monday. He has been out since surgery April 4 to remove a blood clot from near his right collarbone.

"It's tough for me to feel so physically close," Stamkos said. "There's still a chance I might play in this series. There's still a chance I might not play in these playoffs."

Defenseman Anton Stralman skated Monday and could play. He has been out since sustaining a fractured left fibula on March 25. He came off the ice with the regular players but did not speak to the media.  

Pittsburgh could scratch defenseman Olli Maatta and play defenseman Justin Schultz on Monday. Schultz practiced on a third defense pairing with Ian Cole on Sunday.

Sullivan said after the Penguins' optional practice Monday that the Penguins' six-man defense corps would be a game-time decision.

"What [Schultz has] brought to our team is mobility, the ability to make a first pass," Sullivan said. "He sees the ice pretty well. He has good offensive instincts. He can help us on the power play."

Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin is expected to play Monday after sitting out the final 4:46 of the third period of Game 1 after being hit into the boards by Lightning forward Ondrej Palat.

Dumoulin was on the ice Monday after practicing Sunday.

"It feels good. It feels normal," Dumoulin said. "After the hit I didn't really feel any concussion symptoms, which is good. So I'm hopefully ready to go."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat - Valtteri Filppula - Jonathan Drouin

Cedric Paquette - Brian Boyle - Ryan Callahan

Erik Condra - Vladislav Namestnikov - J.T. Brown

Victor Hedman - Matt Carle

Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr

Slater Koekkoek - Braydon Coburn

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Kristers Gudlevskis

Injured: Ben Bishop (lower body), Steven Stamkos (blood clot), Anton Stralman (fractured left fibula)

Scratched: Mike Blunden, Jonathan Marchessault, Nikita Nesterov, Matt Taormina, Luke Witkowski


Conor Sheary - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist

Carl Hagelin - Nick Bonino - Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Trevor Daley - Ben Lovejoy

Ian Cole - Justin Schultz

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Injured: Kevin Porter (ankle surgery), Scott Wilson (lower body)

Scratched: Jeff Zatkoff, Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, Oskar Sundqvist, Beau Bennett

Status report: If Stralman can play, it's likely Koekkoek would come out of the lineup. … Kunitz and Kuhnhackl were on the ice Monday after missing practice Sunday. Sullivan said each took a maintenance day.

Who's hot: Hedman has four goals and five assists in his past six games. … Hornqvist has scored a goal in three of his past five games.

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