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By Allan Muir
June 13, 2015

Asked about the status of his starting goalie on Friday, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper offered the most honest answer he could.

If Ben Bishop can play a game, he's playing,” Cooper said.

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The 'keeper's availability for tonight's crucial Game 5 likely won't be revealed until just before puck drop, but Bishop crossed the first hurdle Saturday by taking part in the team's morning skate.

Speaking after practice, Bishop said "progress has been made."

While that's great news for the Bolts, it's no guarantee that he's good to go. Bishop skated before Game 4 and later spoke to the media but was a last-minute scratch. He was replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy, who shook off some early nerves to make 17 stops in the 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

There were reports Friday night, none of them official, that the extra day off between games had Bishop on the mend. It's believed he suffered a left leg injury in Game 2, although that's not been confirmed by the Lightning.