Coming off big win, Stars host rested Golden Knights

Field Level Media

The Dallas Stars have little time to celebrate arguably their biggest win of the season on Thursday night, a 4-1 victory at Minnesota that moved them into third place in the Central Division.

The Stars now host a well-rested Vegas Golden Knights squad on Friday night and likely will have to do it without record-setting goaltender Ben Bishop.

Bishop, who had consecutive shutouts over the New York Rangers (1-0), Colorado (4-0) and Buffalo (2-0), extended his franchise-record shutout streak to 230:53 seconds in the win over the Wild, breaking the mark of 219:26 set by Ed Belfour in November of 2000.

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But Bishop departed Thursday night's win with a 3-0 lead just 6:33 into the second period with what was called a lower-body injury. Anton Khudobin finished up and stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced.

"We don't know yet," Dallas coach Jim Montgomery replied when asked how long Bishop could be sidelined. "It's day-to-day. We'll know more (Friday)."

Montgomery said he didn't know how Bishop was injured. Bishop left the game after Joel L'Esperance had scored his first NHL goal.

"They came to me and they said he needs to come out," Montgomery said. "We're lucky. We have a great two in nets. If (Bishop) might have to miss a couple more games ... Khudobin goes in and does the job."

Khudobin has a 13-14-3 record this season with two shutouts.

"He's been great this year," Jamie Benn said. "Obviously we didn't want to see Bish have to leave the game but we have all the confidence in the world in (Khudobin) and it didn't faze us at all."

Dallas has won two straight and six of its last seven games. The Stars will face a Vegas team that also has won six of its last seven and has had a four-day break to refresh since suffering a 6-3 loss at Calgary on Sunday night. The Golden Knights, who are third in the Pacific Division, end the regular season with a stretch of 12 games over 23 days.

"It's always good to get rest before the stretch," defenseman Brayden McNabb told NHL.com. "We have to take advantage of it and make sure we're ready for Dallas on Friday."

"Anybody that's played in the National Hockey League understands that it's a grueling season and playing 82 games in just under 200 days isn't easy," added Mark Stone. "These days off are good for recovery. As we go into a big playoff push here, it's going to rejuvenate the minds and bodies and help us reset."

The Golden Knights enter Friday's game 12 points behind second place Calgary in the battle for home ice for the first round of the playoffs. And even though the time off may have been good for the mind and body as Stone claimed, it wasn't good in terms of keeping their third-place lead over surging Arizona. The Coyotes, eight points behind Vegas before the break, closed to within four points after back-to-back wins over St. Louis and Anaheim.

This is the third and final regular-season meeting between the Stars and Golden Knights. Vegas won the first two, 4-2, at Dallas on Dec. 9 and 4-1 in Las Vegas on Feb. 26.

--Field Level Media

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