Bolts notes: Vasilevskiy likely to start, Stralman could make playoff debut


Based on today’s optional skate in Pittsburgh, the Lightning will have two significant lineup changes for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Final against the Penguins.

Starting netminder Ben Bishop wasn’t on the ice Monday, and has only briefly taken to the playing surface after getting stretchered off in Friday’s series-opening win.

That means 21-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the start tonight, after making 25 saves in relief of Bishop in Game 1. It would be the second Stanley Cup playoff start of Vasilevskiy’s career, having made an emergency start in place of Bishop during last year’s final versus Chicago.

On defense, it appears as though Anton Stralman will make his long-awaited postseason debut. The veteran Swedish d-man has been out of action for nearly two months.

More, from the Tampa Bay Times:

Stralman (fractured left leg) could return tonight, having been sidelined since Mar. 25. Stralman participated in today’s skate, coming off the ice with regulars. Defenseman Nikita Nesterov would probably be the odd man out if Stralman comes back.

Forwards Erik Condra and Mike Blunden were among the last on the ice, so could be scratched. Jonathan Marchessault could be in if the Lightning goes with 12 forwards.

Getting Stralman back would be a huge boon for the Bolts. He’s one of their best possession d-men, averages 22 minutes a night and is a right-handed shot, something the blueline is short on.

Stralman was also a key cog to last year’s Stanley Cup Final run, with nine points in 26 games.