CHICAGO – Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in goal in place of Ben Bishop for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN,.CBC, TVA Sports).
Bishop was questionable after he left Game 2 on Saturday twice and was replaced by Vasileskiy, who finished the game with five saves during the final 7:41 as Tampa Bay took a 4-3 victory to even the best-of-7 series at 1-1. Vasilevskiy was the first goalie to earn a win in relief in the Stanley Cup Final since Frank Pietrangelo for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991.
Bishop left Game 2 at 7:17 of the third period when Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp took a high-sticking penalty and returned at 8:49 when Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison scored what turned out to be the winning goal. Bishop exited again for good at 12:19 of the third period.
Bishop took part in the morning skate on Monday for 15 minutes and was the first goalie off the ice, suggesting he would start the game. But neither coach Jon Cooper nor Bishop would confirm his status Monday morning and wouldn’t say what caused Bishop to leave Game 2.
Vasilevskiy had a 7-5-1 record with a 2.36 goals against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 16 regular season games for the Lightning. Monday was his first career start in the NHL playoffs.
In 22 postseason games this season, Bishop has a 12-9 record with a 2.20 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and three shutouts.