Hockey World Blog

Ben Bishop goes down with leg injury in Tampa Bay win

The Tampa Bay Lightning opened the Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they lost netminder Ben Bishop to an apparent leg injury midway through the first period.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said X-Rays on Bishop came back negative, but he’s unlikely to start Game 2 on Monday.

“You’re concerned for your guy,” Cooper said. “I don’t think I’ve seen that since [Stamkos] went down a couple of years ago (with a broken leg). It just brings memories like that, situations that have happened before. When we got some test results back and found out it wasn’t as … he’s definitely hurt, but there’s nothing structurally wrong right now. That was a big relief.”

As you can see in the video below, Bishop misplays the puck behind the net, leading to him scrambling to get back into position when the Penguins try to capitalize on the broken play. Bishop slides back out in front on both pads, then struggles to stand and find his footing before falling awkwardly to his knees in the likely moment that the injury occurred, He immediately goes down and grabs his left knee, leading to a stop in play.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, the organization’s highly touted 21-year-old backup, replaced Bishop and made 25 saves en route to securing the win.

“We’ve faced a lot of adversity, and I think we’re obviously a little bit used to it,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. “For us, we’ve been through situations like this before. We knew it was a very important game for us. We made sure that we got ready for this one. When [Bishop] went down, we wanted to play a good game for him. Obviously we started off on the right foot and played a great game. We played good defensively there in the third and we didn’t give them too much.”

Alex Killorn scored late in the first period, Ondrej Palat got a power-play goal early in the second and Jonathan Drouin scored later in the period for the Lightning.

Patric Hornqvist tallied the lone Penguins goal on the power play with 54.6 seconds left in the second period. The Penguins consistently cited Tampa Bay’s strong transition game as something they need to adjust to in order to win games.

“I think we need to be better just understanding how they play, what it looks like,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “We’ve got a better feel for that, but at the end when it’s all said and done here we still have another level we’ve got to find if we want to win games.”

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