WINNIPEG, Manitoba — For the time being, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop doesn’t think he’ll be out of the net for too long.
Bishop left Sunday night’s game at Edmonton after facing just one shot — a goal by Jordan Eberle — 4:18 into the game and did not return with an injury to his right arm or hand.
Bishop will be unavailable for tonight’s game at Winnipeg — he was not originally scheduled to play — forcing the team to call up Cedrick Desjardins from Syracuse of the American Hockey League to back up Anders Lindback.
Bishop is tied for the league lead with four shutouts, is tied for second in the league with 22 victories and is second among goaltenders with at least 20 starts with a 1.86 goals-against average.
“Deep down I’m not feeling this has got serious implications,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “But the second you do that, you know that saying, once you assume you make a bleep out of you and me.’’
Bishop is expected to undergo an MRI in the next few days to determine the exact nature of the injury, which is unrelated to a puck he took off his hand earlier this season that led to a lost fingernail on his thumb.
The latest injury occurred before Sunday’s game when Bishop said he took a shot off the arm during warm-ups, though he left the game after sliding to his left as his stick tangled in the legs of teammate Tyler Johnson.
“It wasn’t that bad (after warm-ups),’’ Bishop said. “It was a shot and I don’t know if it was from before that or what but it was nothing. I got off after warm-ups and I was fine and on that play (involving Johnson) it just really spiked it.’’
Bishop said he is able to grip his stick but is unsure of how effective he would be playing the puck or how it would hold up for a full 60 minutes. Unless additional testing reveals something otherwise, Bishop doesn’t believe he’ll miss much time.
“Just take it day by day (and) maybe I’ll feel much better (today), but we will see,’’ Bishop said.
In the meantime, Lindback (3-8-1 with a 3.21 goals-against average in 13 appearances) will get the chance to play in consecutive games for the first time this season.
“This is a chance for Lindback to get into another game and do what he is required to do and that’s help us win hockey games, and he has all the talent in the world to do it,’’ Cooper said.