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Lightning G Ben Bishop resumes practicing, won't play Game 4

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Ben Bishop was back on the ice for the first time since getting injured. (USATSI)
Ben Bishop was back on the ice for the first time since getting injured. (USATSI)

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have been in need of some positive news or at least some glimpse that this dark cloud hanging over their club may soon be lifted. That may have come in the form of No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop returning to the ice for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury near the end of the regular season.

Bishop, who was a difference-maker for the Lightning all season long, took some shots in practice from the coaching staff and appeared to get light work in. Head coach Jon Cooper said there is “zero chance” Bishop will play in Game 4.

Even though Bishop won't be back for Game 4, there could be some hope that if the Lightning are able to extend the series in which they currently trail the Montreal Canadiens 3-0, they could see the big goaltender back between the pipes before it's over. That would require, at the very least, a big win on the road Tuesday night by the beleaguered Lightning.

From the Stamkos injury earlier in the year to Martin St. Louis' trade request to Bishop's regular-season injury to Ondrej Palat getting knicked up in the series, this has been far from the ideal season for Tampa Bay. There was even a scare in Game 3 when Stamkos left temporarily after taking a knee to the head. One has to wonder what these guys did to get such bad luck.

Head coach Jon Cooper is hoping the Lightning's luck changes soon, in fact, he's banking on it.

"At some point, karma is going to come around," Cooper told reporters after Monday's practice (via TampaBay.com). "We just need it for one night. You just have to win one and everyone is back on a plane (to Tampa for Game 5) and who knows what happens after that?"

Bishop getting back on the ice may have at least offered a glimpse of positive days ahead, but time is running out for the Lightning to hope karma or whatever they want to call it is dressed in blue and white for once this season.

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