OTTAWA – Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop left Thursday’s game against the Ottawa Senators due to injury.
Less than two minutes into the game, Bishop came out in an attempt to play the puck above his net. As Bishop dove forward inside the left circle he landed hard on his stomach just before teammate Nikita Kucherov tried to jump over Bishop and retrieve the puck in the corner. As Kucherov leaped over Bishop, he appeared to hit Bishop in the back of the head with either his knee or his skate. Bishop lay prone on the ice as play continued, which led to Marc Methot gaining control of the puck and shooting into an open net for an Ottawa goal 1:49 into the game.
Bishop remained down on the ice even after the goal was scored as head medical trainer Tom Mulligan came from the bench to attend to the goaltender. After several moments Bishop was able to get to his skates under his own power before heading back to the locker room for evaluation.
The official update from the team stated Bishop suffered an upper body injury and is not expected to return to the game.
Anders Lindback came on in relief of Bishop.
This marks the second time this month Bishop left a game early due to injury. During a Jan. 5 game in Edmonton, Bishop suffered a strained right wrist less than five minutes into the game and did not return. Bishop missed four games before returning on Jan. 14 against the New York Rangers. Thursday marked his eighth consecutive start since returning from the wrist injury.
A leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, Bishop entered Thursday tied for third in the league with 26 victories, fourth in goals against average (1.99) among goaltenders with 20 or more games played, second in save percentage (.933) also among goaltenders with 20 or more games played.
Including the game in Edmonton, which was tied at the time Bishop was injured, Tampa Bay posted a 2-3 record while Bishop was out of the lineup.
More updates on Bishop are expected after the conclusion of Thursday’s game.