Ben Bishop still uncertain for Game 5

ByKatie Strang ESPN logo
Saturday, June 13, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop said he will be making a decision soon about his status for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals after participating in the team's Saturday morning skate at Amalie Arena.

Bishop would not say which way he is leaning, though he said he is making strides in his recovery from the undisclosed injury that kept him from playing in Game 4 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"There's progress being made," he said.

Asked whether he expected Bishop to be available Saturday night, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he didn't know. He had not yet spoken to Bishop following the morning skate.

"I hope I have a decision to make between him andAndrei [Vasilevskiy]," Cooper said. "That'd be great."

If Bishop cannot play, Vasilevskiy will make his second consecutive start. The 20-year-old Russian netminder was saddled with a loss in his first NHL postseason start in Game 4 on Wednesday night, but looked pretty poised in making 17 of 19 saves.

"[Vasilevskiy] is probably a little bit more prepared now," Bishop said. "He's a young kid but he's been through a lot. He's obviously played some big games, obviously none bigger than the last one. He comes in with a good resume. You see why he's as good as he is."

Bishop said watching Game 4 and being unable to play was "terrible."

"I was more nervous for that game and not playing than I've been for any game," he said. "I thought [Vasilevskiy] did a great job, he did everything he needed to do. I thought he played a great game and we had a chance to win that game. It's a tough spot to put a kid in like that, but you see why he's going to be as good as he is."

Bishop said the decision now whether he will play will not be a unilateral one; instead, he will huddle with Cooper and the team's medical staff to evaluate the best course of action.

"You have to do what's best for the team. At this time of the year, it's all about the team and wins, it's not about personal accolades at all," Bishop said.

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