Penguins’ Daley has broken ankle, won’t return this post-season

Jared Clinton
Trevor Daley (via NHL.com)

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley fell to the ice in pain midway through Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final, crawled to the front of the net wincing and was unable to put any pressure on his left leg while leaving the ice. The optics of Daley’s injury had Penguins fans thinking the worst, and those fears were confirmed Sunday.

When Penguins coach Mike Sullivan addressed the media Sunday, he announced that Daley, 32, will be out for Game 5 and is done for the post-season after suffering a broken ankle. In Daley’s place will be 21-year-old Olli Maatta, who has been a healthy scratch for the past three games of the post-season. Sullivan said he’s confident in the youngster, but acknowledged how tough Daley will be to replace.

“He’s really made our team a better team,” Sullivan said. “(Daley’s) a mobile guy. He can move the puck. He’s got real good offensive instincts. He’s a real solid two-way defenseman, and it’s hard to replace those guys, but we’ve done it all year, and we’ll deal with it again.” Read more

Penguins’ Daley has ‘lower-body injury,’ seen leaving Game 4 on crutches

Jared Clinton
Trevor Daley (via NHL.com)

The Eastern Conference final is now tied after the Penguins dropped Game 4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but worse than Pittsburgh’s loss Friday is the impact an injury to Trevor Daley could have on this series going forward.

Late in the second period Friday, Daley was hit behind the Penguins’ net by Lightning winger Ryan Callahan. Though it seemed like an innocuous hit, the kind of which happens on a regular basis throughout the course of a game, the collision resulted in Daley going down in obvious pain before crawling to the front of the Pittsburgh net on all fours. When play finally stopped, Daley rolled onto his back in agony before being helped off the ice: Read more

Lightning netminder Ben Bishop ‘getting closer,’ but won’t play in crucial Game 4

Jared Clinton
Ben Bishop (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he was optimistic about the chances of starting netminder Ben Bishop returning during the Eastern Conference final, and even though Bishop has been taking part in practices and facing shots, it won’t be Game 4 that the 6-foot-7 netminder gets back between the pipes.

Bishop skated again Friday ahead of the fourth game of the conference final, but it was 21-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy who was first off the ice at the morning skate and who will get the call in goal for the Lightning as they seek to tie up the series. Bishop remained practicing after Vasilevskiy left the ice and again faced shots, but that doesn’t mean the veteran goaltender’s return is imminent.

“Today was better than yesterday,” Bishop, who has been out since falling injured in Game 1, said. “We’re making progress here. We’re getting closer.”

Getting closer, though, doesn’t ensure Bishop will be back for Game 5, and in a series that could be 3-1 for the Penguins heading back to Pittbsurgh, that could mean time is running out for both Bishop and the Lightning to turn this series around. Read more

Penguins’ Hornqvist will play in Game 4 after leaving Game 3 following shot block

Jared Clinton
Patric Hornqvist (Greg Fiume/NHLI via Getty Images)

Almost everything that could go right has gone as such for the Penguins over the past two games, but there was a moment late in Game 3’s victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning that had some in Pittsburgh worrying about the health of Patric Hornqvist.

With the Penguins in their defensive zone with little more than seven minutes left in the third period, Hornqvist went to close off a shooting lane when the puck came back to Lightning winger Alex Killorn. Hornqvist spread out to block the shot and managed to get his left hand in front of Killorn’s attempt.

However, upon the puck striking Hornqvist, he almost immediately dropped his stick to the ice, winced in pain and skated to the Pittsburgh bench. Shortly thereafter, he headed to the dressing room: Read more

Stamkos says there’s ‘a real possibility’ he won’t play at all in playoffs

Jared Clinton
Steven Stamkos (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning entered the post-season, defeated the Detroit Red Wings, got past the New York Islanders and entered into the Eastern Conference final all without the services of Steven Stamkos, and the Bolts may have to get used to his absence for the rest of the post-season.

Stamkos has been out for nearly two months after he had surgery to take care of a blood clot in his arm, but the Lightning captain has been taking part in some light skates, practicing with his teammates and has looked close to returning on several occasions. But ahead of Game 4, which will be as close to a must-win as the Lightning can get without it being an elimination game, Stamkos said the likelihood of him playing Friday evening isn’t very great. In fact, he said there’s about a “95 percent chance” he’ll be out.

As if that news isn’t bad enough, though, Stamkos went one step further: he said he might not be back at all this post-season. Read more

Lightning’s Bishop out for Game 3, but coach Cooper ‘optimistic’ goaltender will return this round

Jared Clinton
Ben Bishop (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

It was hard not to think the worst when Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was writhing in pain on the ice during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final. However, it turns out Bishop could be back before anyone expected.

After informing media that x-rays and MRIs came back negative, Bishop said he was in good enough shape to be considered day-to-day. Add that to the fact he was seen walking with only a slight limp, was able to get out to talk to media with little difficulty and took part in a short skate ahead of Game 2 and it appears that Bishop could be back at some point during the Eastern Conference final.

He won’t, however, be back for Game 3. Bishop did take the ice in full equipment ahead of Wednesday’s game, but he left before the full team skate and coach Jon Cooper said the Tampa Bay starter will miss at least one more outing. According to the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith, Cooper added he was hopeful Bishop would be back in full practice Thursday, which meshes with what the Lightning bench boss said Tuesday when he told media he was “optimistic” about Bishop’s potential return. Read more

Lightning’s Bishop out for Game 2, but only day-to-day after thinking leg was broken

Jared Clinton
Ben Bishop (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop was stretchered off the ice in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final and it looked as though his season could be over regardless of what the Lightning accomplished in the third round. But it turns out the news is much better than one would have expected.

Though Bishop, 29, was absent from the game day skate ahead of Game 2, which means he won’t be playing Monday evening, x-rays and an MRI have come back showing that he’s actually in much better shape than anyone could have guessed. In fact, he could even be back this series, as he’s been listed by the Lightning as day-to-day. This coming after the netminder revealed he thought the worst as soon as he fell to the ice in Game 1.

“I fell back and felt something I’ve never felt before, pain right away,” Bishop said. “Your mind starts racing, you start thinking the worst thing. I’m thinking my leg is broken then your mind just starts spinning. I was really scared…Definitely one of the scariest things that’s happened to me. It’s funny when something like that happens and your mind starts racing. Just thinking the worst. Luckily, it’s not that bad.” Read more