TAMPA - The Senators and Lightning aren’t only opponents on the ice.
They were also in a head-to-head battle for goalie Ben Bishop before he was dealt by the Blues.
After taking part in his first morning skate with the Senators since being dealt to Ottawa by the Blues on Feb. 26, Bishop confirmed the Bolts looked at him as an option to solve their goaltending issues.
Before being recalled from Binghamton Monday, Bishop, 25, was regarded as the best goalie outside the NHL.
Tampa GM Steve Yzerman made a hard pitch for Bishop because neither Dwayne Roloson nor Mathieu Garon has been consistent this season.
“I did know that (the Bolts) were very interested,” said Bishop.
The Bolts may have been wishing they had Bishop when Garon left the game only 3:54 in and was replaced by Roloson. The Bolts were down 3-0 after the first period.
Bishop’s new Ottawa teammates were happy the club was able to get the 6-foot-7 netminder. They liked what they saw during the morning skate, if that means anything.
“I saw a lot of Ben. I didn’t see a lot of net in practice,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson.
THIS 'N' THAT
Alfredsson was pleased to report he and partner Jason Spezza won a tennis grudge match vs. Sergei Gonchar and Erik Karlsson on Monday at owner Eugene Melnyk’s ranch in Ocala, Fla. “We had quite a few spectators throughout,” said Alfredsson, who won 7-6, 6-3. “I’m not surprised. It could have gone either way. (Spezza) really served well to get us up 5-2. That was the difference.” Karlsson told a slightly different story. “Me and Gonch lost against Alfie. It sucks. He’s the best tennis player in this room right now. (Spezza) was decent. He played pretty consistent,” said Karlsson. “We could have won, but we made some bad decisions and lost it.” ... C Jim O’Brien was a late scratch with an upper-body injury, which meant C Zenon Konopka played against his old team.
AROUND THE BOARDS
W Milan Michalek was surprised his skate blade came off late in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Panthers. He had another pair of skates in the room. “I tried to get up and I kept falling,” said Michalek, who had to be helped off the ice. “I had an old pair, and it was late, so I just wore an old one on my left foot and a new one on my right foot.” ... Assistant GM Tim Murray told Sportsnet that C Mike Zibanejad will return to Ottawa once his season in Sweden is over. That could be as early as next week. The Senators haven’t decided whether they’re going to play him and burn a year on his entry-level contract. At the very least, he’ll be practising with the team.
THE MORNING SKATE
G Craig Anderson was on the ice Tuesday with a blocker on his cut right hand, but he wasn’t handling a stick. He’s out indefinitely and the club won’t have an update until Anderson gets the stitches out of his pinkie. “I’m not sure if he’s feet or yards away,” said coach Paul MacLean. “He hasn’t had the stitches out yet so we’re not at the point where he can have a stick. Once the stitches come out and he can to the point where can (move) it in the glove, the process will be quicker.” ... Karlsson was lighter in the wallet. He was fined $2,500 by NHL VP Brendan Shanahan for his slash on Florida’s Sean Bergenheim. Karlsson said Bergenheim tried to knee him just before the slash. “It’s not something I can change right now,” said Karlsson. “It’s a bad play by me and something that shouldn’t (happen) on the ice. I talked to (Shanahan). He explained. I understood.”
IT MAKES YOU GO HMMM ...
Looks like MacLean is going to shuffle guys in and out on the lineup. Sunday it was C Zack Smith. Tuesday it was W Bobby Butler’s turn to sit. Butler has one goal in his last 19 games. “Bobby, unfortunately, is always evaluated on points,” said MacLean. “The amount that he has played here in the last little while, I thought his engine was running a little bit low, and we want to make sure we use the depth of our players.” ... Facing his former team for the first time, D Brian Lee called this just another game. “I’m just going to approach it like a normal game and have fun,” said Lee. “It’s not going to be any different, aside from (the fact) I have a couple of friends over there before and after the game. but no friends during.” Lee had dinner with a couple of his former teammates Monday in Tampa.