Dallas Stars coach Rick Bowness said he has not chosen whether Ben Bishop or Anton Khudobin will begin in goal against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The Stars lead the best-of-7 series in the wake of failing to eliminate the Avalanche in Game 5, a 6-3 misfortune in Edmonton, the Western center point city, on Monday, when Bishop began and Khudobin assuaged him.
“We’ll have discussions as a staff, we’ll see who is the best fit for that game tomorrow night,” Bowness said Tuesday. “It’ll come down to that. Our preference is never to play a goalie back to back unless you absolutely have to. We have the day off today, and we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.”
Bishop had missed eight games with an undisclosed injury preceding Monday, when he permitted four goals on 19 shots before being pulled at 13:43 of the first period. Khudobin made 20 saves.
Khudobin began those past eight games, including a 5-4 win in Match 4 on Sunday. He is 7-4-0 with a 2.86 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in the postseason.
Bishop is 1-2-0 with a 5.43 GAA and .844 save percentage.
Bowness said Bishop moved toward him preceding Game 5 and said he was prepared to begin.
“When your No. 1 goalie comes to you and says, ‘I really feel good, I’m ready to go,’ that makes it an easy decision,” Bowness said.
However, Bowness wouldn’t state in the event that it would again be a simple choice to begin Bishop if the goalie says he can finally relax and is all set for Game 6.
“That’ll be a discussion for tomorrow,” Bowness said.
Bowness additionally rehashed what he said following the game Monday, assuming the fault for the Stars’ first time frame away from Bishop and nailing it to the play before him.
Dallas followed 5-0 after the principal time frame. It permitted four objectives in 2:36.
“If we had played that poorly in front of Anton the result probably would have been the same,” Bowness said. “We’re pointing the finger at the wrong thing. We’ve got to point the finger at the five guys in front not working. That’s where my issue is. The starting goalie is not the issue. The issue is how we play in front of him, be it [Khudobin], Jake [Oettinger] or [Bishop].”
Bowness said the coaching staff has considered giving Oettinger a beginning in view of the consolidated timetable.
“But he hasn’t played a second of NHL hockey,” Bowness said of the 21-year-old, who was selected by Dallas in the first round (No. 26) of the 2017 NHL Draft. “These are interesting conversations we have to have based on information we have.”
Stars defenseman Andrej Sekera said the beginning goalie isn’t something the remainder of the group stresses over.
“I don’t think it makes any difference who is in the net to be honest,” Sekera said. “We have to play our ‘A’ game no matter who is in the net. Playoff hockey, you’re going to have ups and downs in the postseason. Everybody goes through that. Fortunately, everything was going well for us, but there are going to be bumps in the road. Forget about it, regroup and go get the next one.”
Colorado coach Jared Bednar additionally would not uncover who will be the Avalanche’s beginning goalie for Game 6. Bednar additionally wouldn’t state if Pavel Francouz, who was unsuitable to play Game 5 subsequent to beginning the past three games, will be an alternative. Michael Hutchinson, Colorado’s No. 3 goalie entering the end of the season games, begun Game 5 and made 31 saves in the 6-3 win.
Bednar said that goalie Philipp Grubauer, who was harmed in Game 1 and supplanted by Francouz, isn’t a choice since he’s despite everything unsuitable to play.