Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was forced to leave Thursday night’s game after suffering an apparent head injury in the first period. Bishop came out of his net in an attempt to play the puck with Ottawa Senators forward Mika Zibanejad forcing the issue.
While backchecking on the play, Tampa Bay right winger Nikita Kucherov kneed his netminder in the back of the head allowing Zibanejad to center the puck to Marc Methot as he scored with a wide-open net. Trainers then came out to assist Bishop who remained down on the ice. Anders Lindback then took over in goal for the Lightning.
Bishop has been one of the key reasons why Tampa Bay has been a contender in the Eastern Conference. With Steven Stamkos out of the lineup, he has even made a case for the Hart Trophy for MVP. Going into Thursday, the Lightning ranks 2nd in the Atlantic Division behind the Boston Bruins. Many even wondered if he should have gotten consideration for Team USA over Jimmy Howard.
He entered tonight’s game with a record of 26-7-4, a dazzling 1.99 GAA and a .933 save percentage which ranks second in the NHL along with four shutouts. If Bishop ends up on injured reserve indefinitely, Tampa Bay may be on the lookout for a goaltender by the trade deadline March 5.