TAMPA, Fla. - Ben Bishop gutted through injury to make 27 saves in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup, but one inexplicable mistake cost the Tampa Bay Lightning dearly.
Bishop left his crease to play the puck in the faceoff circle in the first period and collided with teammate Victor Hedman. Patrick Sharp scored off Bishop's gaffe as the Chicago Blackhawks moved one win away from the Cup.
"It's unfortunate obviously," Bishop said. "It's the first time that's happened. Bad time to happen."
The goaltender whose undisclosed injury has been one of the stories of the series said it was a communication error between him and Hedman. It was a rare occasion where a home-team player complained about a loud crowd.
"You can't really hear anything in the building when it's that loud. Obviously, you saw the result," Bishop said. "It's too loud out there."
Bishop saw the play developing and tried to catch the Blackhawks on a line change by getting the puck up ice to Stamkos. Hedman didn't realize what his goaltender was doing.
"If I was aware of him I would have seen him," Hedman said. "I was looking up ice, didn?t see him and didn???t hear him. Stuff like that happens."
Bishop said he felt "better" in his return to the net after missing Game 4 and expects to start Game 6 Monday in Chicago with the Lightning facing elimination.
Coach Jon Cooper called it an easy decision to start the hobbled Bishop over rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
"We're not here without Bish," Cooper said after the 2-1 loss. "Aside from that one-in-a-million play that happened, I thought he was outstanding."
That "one-in-a-million play" came minutes after Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford almost turned the puck over to Nikita Kucherov. Instead, Kucherov suffered a game-ending injury, and a minute later Bishop and Hedman collided.
Bishop at times looked like was still struggling moving side-to-side and getting in and out of the butterfly position. As much as he laboured, he didn't make many mistakes.
Chicago's winner came on a rebound that Bishop kicked right to Antoine Vermette. Crawford made 31 saves at the other end as the Lightning were unable to give Bishop any more support.
"He gave us every chance to win that game," Cooper said. "We've got to score more than one."
Follow @SWhyno on Twitter.