CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Dallas starting goaltender Ben Bishop went down with an injury. Anton Khudobin took over and the Stars never missed a beat.
Alexander Radulov and Miro Heiskanen scored and Bishop and Khudobin combined for 35 saves to lead Dallas to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
Play was stopped with Bishop on his knees in obvious discomfort at 13:22 of the second period. He skated off under his own power and went straight to the dressing room.
Bishop appeared to wince earlier in the period after dropping into the butterfly and shuffling across his crease to track a shot.
“(Bishop) made some great saves in the first 30 minutes and (Khudobin) made some great saves in the third. They’re making the saves they’re called upon, and we’re not asking them to make secondary saves sprawling out,” said Dallas coach Jim Montgomery.
No update was available on Bishop’s condition. He has missed games due to injury three times this season, most recently missing two games in mid-March. Montgomery said he suspected Wednesday’s injury was related to the last one, but didn’t know for sure.
Dallas, which holds down the first wild card spot in the Western Conference, swept the season series against Calgary and moved within four points of St. Louis for third in the Central Division. The Blues hold a game in hand.
“There’s good teams behind us and we want to catch the good teams in front of us. It’s important to keep on going and finish this regular season out strong,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said.
TJ Brodie scored for Calgary. The Flames’ lead over idle San Jose atop both the Pacific Division and Western Conference remained at six points.
The Sharks, who hold a game in hand, have six games remaining.
Khudobin made 15 saves in relief of Bishop and was credited with the win. He improved to 14-16-4.
David Rittich made 21 saves for the Flames. The loss drops his record to 26-8-5.
The only goal of the opening two periods came at 17:26 of the first on a power play.
Picking up the puck behind his own net, Radulov slowly carried the puck up ice uncontested. As he approached the Flames’ blue line, he stickhandled right through the closely bunched Calgary trio of Mark Jankowski, Elias Lindholm and Brodie and broke in alone on Rittich, beating him through the pads with a move to his backhand.
“I just went through the middle and I think the puck bounced over their sticks and I just continued to skate and ended up on a breakaway,” Radulov said.
That goal was part of an early theme for Calgary, suggested frustrated Flames coach Bill Peters.
“Our level of desperation needs to increase across the board,” Peters said. “All three zones, 200 feet, their D are blowing by us in the first five minutes like crazy and jumping by us in the rush. It’s almost as if we were unaware.”
The Stars made it 2-0 on a second power-play goal at 12:24 of the third, with Heiskanen scoring from a scramble. Dallas converted on both its man-advantage chances.
Brodie got Calgary on the scoreboard at 18:28 of the third, converting a rebound of a shot by Johnny Gaudreau.
“It’s playing harder. You can get looks throughout a game, but you don’t count looks on the scoreboard. We’ve got to get to the net, we’ve got to get in the crease,” Flames center Sean Monahan said.
The NHL’s highest scoring team at home, Calgary has mustered just one goal in the first two games of this three-game homestand. The Flames lost 3-0 to Los Angeles on Monday night.
The Flames scored 29 times at the Saddledome during their five-game winning streak that preceded this stretch.
NOTES: Dallas improves to 29-1-2 when leading after two periods. … The Stars have won six straight games against Calgary. … Sam Bennett (upper body) missed his fifth game in the last six. He could play on Friday.
Stars: At Edmonton on Thursday.
Flames: Host Anaheim on Friday.
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