SPORTS

Bishop starts for Lightning in Game 5 of Stanley Cup final against Blackhawks

06/13/2015 11:19 EDT | Updated 06/13/2016 05:59 EDT
TAMPA, Fla. - Ben Bishop made enough progress in his injury recovery to start Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Bishop was back in net against the Chicago Blackhawks after missing Game 4 with an undisclosed injury.

Rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 17 saves in his first Stanley Cup playoff start on Wednesday, is backed up Bishop.

Bishop skated 15 minutes with Lightning teammates in the morning at Amalie Arena, but he did that Wednesday and didn't play.

The Lightning's plan for Bishop was to rest him for a few days with the hope that he'd be ready to return.

That came Saturday night, hours after Bishop said "there's progress being made" with his injury.

In another lineup switch, Jonathan Drouin returned for the Lightning as coach Jon Cooper opted to scratch Nikita Nesterov and go with 12 forwards and six defencemen.

Bishop wasn't terribly forthcoming about how he was feeling. He wouldn't say what health percentage he's at, nor would he answer a hypothetical question about whether he'd play if the game were in an hour.

There is a line between playing through pain and being too injured to play effectively. After leaving Game 2 in the third period, Bishop laboured through Game 3, but he made stops and got the win.

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

Vasilevskiy this week became the fourth-youngest goaltender to start a Cup final game, just older than Harry Lumley in 1945, Don Beaupre in 1981 and Patrick Roy in 1986.

Bishop, who rested Thursday and Friday, said it was "terrible" to watch Game 4. But he praised his 20-year-old teammate and expects Vasilevskiy to be more prepared if he starts again.

"I was more nervous for that game and not playing than I've been for any game," Bishop 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."

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