While Steven Stamkos has been out with a broken leg, goaltender Ben Bishop has been on the top of his game, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning to maintain their position in the thick of things in the Atlantic Division.
Well now the Lightning might have to see how they can get through without either Bishop or Stamkos.
Early in the first period on Sunday night in Edmonton, Bishop had to leave the game and immediately headed down the tunnel to the dressing room, replaced by Anders Lindback. At the end of the first period the Lightning announced that Bishop wouldn't be coming back into the game.
Update on goaltender Ben Bishop: He will not return to game due to upper body injury. Will be re-evaluated tomorrow in Winnipeg.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 6, 2014
Speculation is that Bishop left because of an injury to his right hand. The Oilers' television broadcast reported that Bishop was going to have x-rays performed on his hand to determine the damage.
Bishop is at the top of the list in terms of Vezina Trophy candidates this season. His 22 wons and .936 save percentage are both second in the NHL while his 1.83 goals against average is good enough for third. He has been exceptional and a major reason why the Bolts are Sunday just four points behind first-place Boston in the Atlantic despite the lack of their superstar scorer.
The Lightning will be keeping their fingers crossed tight that it's nothing serious and Bishop will be back in no time. If the news is bad, it will cap off one rough week for Bishop, who was also left off the USA Olympic roster.