Ben Bishop (Scott Audette/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will be starting Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final. He led the team out on to the ice for the pre-game skate. Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning’s Game 4 starter, will be Bishop’s backup.
There’s no more secret about who will be starting Game 5 for the Tampa Bay Lightning: Ben Bishop will be between the pipes in the pivotal fifth game of the Stanley Cup final.
For the length of the two-day break between Game 4 and 5, the Lightning and coach Jon Cooper were mum about who would start in goal. However, as the teams took the ice for the pre-game warm up, it was Bishop who led his club out. Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning’s 20-year-old rookie netminder, started Game 4, but will be backing up Bishop Saturday evening.
Through this post-season, Bishop has posted three shutouts with a 2.19 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. The Chicago Blackhawks have only been able to solve the towering netminder seven times in three games and potted two goals on 19 shots against Vasilevskiy in Game 4.
Following Friday’s optional morning skate, Cooper told media that he wasn’t sure who his starting goaltender would be.
“When we made the decision not to play him the other night, the decision just wasn’t made, ‘Oh, we’re not going to play him,’ ” Cooper said. “It’s, ‘We’re not playing you and you’re taking the next three days off.’ This was all in the plan.”
He did, however, say the morning skate would give a hint as to who would be his starter. Bishop took part in Saturday’s skate and, now, he’ll get starting duties.