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Vasilevskiy starts Game 4 for Lightning; Bishop out

by Corey Masisak

CHICAGO -- Andrei Vasilevskiy led the Tampa Bay Lightning onto the ice for warmups for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and will start against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Wednesday.

Ben Bishop, who was injured in Game 2 but played Game 3, was not on the ice for warmups and is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, the Lightning said. Kristers Gudlevskis is Vasilevskiy's backup.

Vasilevskiy, 20, was a first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2012 NHL Draft. This would be his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has appeared three times in relief of Bishop, including in Game 2 of this series when he made five saves and was the winning goaltender in a 4-3 victory.

Vasilevskiy split this season between the American Hockey League and the NHL. Vasilevskiy was 7-5-1 with a .918 save percentage for the Lightning during the regular season. He has an .895 save percentage in 54 minutes during the playoffs.

Vasilevskiy was the starting goaltender for Russia in three IIHF World Junior Championships, and had a .934 save percentage in 18 playoff games last season for Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Bishop stopped 36 of 38 shots in Game 3 but lacked his typical mobility and verve for playing the puck away from his crease. After the morning skate Wednesday, coach Jon Cooper said Bishop was in “the same holding pattern” as he was 48 hours prior, before Game 3.

Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya ( upper body) will play. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, 40, will make his debut in the series in place of Kyle Cumiskey. Timonen hasn't played since Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks.

Chicago forward Kris Versteeg is returning to the lineup for the Blackhawks after a one-game absence. He is replacing Bryan Bickell, who replaced him for Game 3.

The rest of the Tampa Bay lineup remains unchanged from Game 3, so that means forward Jonathan Drouin is scratched for a second straight game.

Here are the lineups:


Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Steven Stamkos

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

J.T. Brown - Cedric Paquette - Brenden Morrow

Brian Boyle - Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn - Jason Garrison

Matthew Carle - Andrej Sustr

Nikita Nesterov

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Kristers Gudlevskis

Scratched: Jonathan Drouin, Mark Barberio, Jonathan Marchessault, Vladislav Namestnikov

Injured: Ben Bishop (undisclosed)


Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa

Kris VersteegBrad RichardsPatrick Kane

Patrick SharpAntoine VermetteTeuvo Teravainen

Andrew DesjardinsMarcus KrugerAndrew Shaw

Duncan KeithNiklas Hjalmarsson

Johnny OduyaTrevor van Riemsdyk

Kimmo TimonenBrent Seabrook

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Bryan Bickell, Kyle Cumiskey, Joakim Nordstrom, Daniel Carcillo, David Rundblad, Antti Raanta, Phillip Danault, Ville Pokka, Ryan Hartman, Viktor Svedberg

Injured: Michal Rozsival (left ankle fracture)

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