Lightning fans won’t see Ben Bishop-Andrei Vasilevskiy matchup in Game 5

Tribune Content Agency

Lightning fans won’t get the matchup some have wanted to see between goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and his former mentor, Ben Bishop, in the Stanley Cup Final.

Dallas coach Rick Bowness said Saturday afternoon that Anton Khudobin will start in net for the Stars, with Jake Oettinger as the backup for Game 5, a potential elimination game. The Lightning have a 3-1 lead in the series and can clinch the Cup with a win tonight in Edmonton.

Bishop, who played for the Lightning from 2013-17, has only played in three games this postseason, deemed “unfit to play” following Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.

A fan favorite while with the Lightning, Bishop has not played in any of the five games against his former team in the Stanley Cup Final.

This isn’t the first time he has been injured during a Cup run.

In 2015, Bishop led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup final against the Blackhawks. But he was injured in Game 2, colliding awkwardly with Victor Hedman, and struggled through the final four games. When the series was over, Bishop said he had played with a torn groin.

Vasilevskiy, who played behind Bishop for the first two years of his career, said Bishop was a great coach to him, and he wouldn’t be the goaltender he is today — a Vezina Trophy winner and three-time finalist — without Bishop’s help.

“It’s a special place in my heart, and this city, obviously, a lot of great memories,” he said before a 2019 game against the Lightning.


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