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5 things to know: Stars move to third with win but lose Bishop to injury

The goaltender sets the franchise record for his shutout streak, but leaves in the second period

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars explode in 2nd period

DAL@MIN: Stars score three goals in under 3 minutes

Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz and Joel L'Esperance score three goals in 2:22 in the 2nd period to give the Stars a 3-0 lead

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Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop made history Thursday night by setting the franchise record for longest shutout streak, but he was injured in the second period of a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Bishop's status moving forward is still to be determined, but for now, he is day-to-day.

Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, Joel L'Esperance, and Alexander Radulov all scored goals for the Stars who won for the sixth time in the last seven games and moved into third place in the Central Division with a record of 37-28-5 (79 points).

Here are five things to know from Thursday's game.

 

1. Bishop sets franchise shutout streak mark, leaves with injury

Bishop rewrote the Dallas Stars record book late in the first period of Thursday's game, eclipsing Ed Belfour's franchise-record shutout streak of 219:26 set in November 2000.

By the time Bishop left the game with a lower-body injury at 6:33 of the second period, he had run the new franchise mark to 230:53, the 25th longest in NHL history. He's stopped 113 straight shots during the streak, which dates back to the March 2 game against St. Louis.

"Tremendous accomplishment," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "To be honest, if he doesn't get hurt maybe he gets another shutout."

Bishop, who came into the game with three consecutive shutouts saw that streak end when he came out of the game. The scoreless streak stays intact and will pick up at 230:53 when he returns to the net.

As for the injury, Montgomery didn't have much of an update following the game.

"We don't know yet," Montgomery said. "It's day-to-day. We'll know more tomorrow."

Montgomery was unclear on how the injury happened.

Anton Khudobin took over in net and stopped 14 of 15 shots the rest of the way.

"We're lucky that we have a great duo in nets," Montgomery said. "If Bishop needs to miss a couple of games -- this might be the third or fourth time -- Khudobin goes in and does the job."

Video: DAL@MIN: Bishop leaves game with injury

 

2. Stars roll out 'a good team effort'

This was one of the Stars' better efforts of the season and it came in a key game against a team they are battling in the playoff race.

The Stars were solid across the board in a game that was played almost exclusively 5-on-5, a little more than 56 minutes of it. The Stars got goals from three different lines in just over 140 seconds of the second period to build a 3-0 game.

According to naturalstattrick.com, the Stars allowed the Wild zero high-danger chances at 5-on-5 and just two for the entire game.

And the goaltending was solid again, with Bishop and Khudobin combining to stop 21 of 22 shots.

"Really important win in the standings, time of the year, but loved the way we played," said Montgomery. "This game is right up there with the Colorado game (a 4-0 win) that we played just last week."

After a first period in which neither team scored, but Dallas had the better of the play, the Stars took control of the game in the second, tallying three goals over a 2:22 span to take a 3-0 lead. Radek Faksa deflected in a Blake Comeau shot at the 4:11 mark. Roope Hintz made it a 2-0 game 74 seconds later, putting home the rebound of a John Klingberg shot. And then 68 seconds after that L'Esperance redirected a Jamie Benn pass into the top corner of the net for his first NHL goal and Dallas had a 3-0 lead.

Just after that goal was scored, Stars goalie Ben Bishop left the game with his injury and in came Khudobin. The Wild would score a little more than four minutes later when Jason Zucker tallied on a power play to cut the Dallas lead to 3-1 heading into the third period.

The Wild generated a little more pressure in the third, but just one high danger chance and that came with the goaltender pulled late for an extra attacker.

Radulov sealed the win with an empty-net goal to make it a 4-1 final.

"It was a good team effort," said Benn. "We worked our way through the game. We played a smart game. That was from top to bottom, both goalies, a good team win for us."

Video: Montgomery breaks down 'really important win'

 
3. L'Esperance has night to remember

The rookie L'Esperance had a night to remember in St. Paul Thursday night. The 23-year-old tallied his first NHL career goal, setting up in slot and redirecting a Benn pass into the top corner of the net to give the Stars a 3-0 lead in the second period.

"There are really no words for it," L'Esperance said. "It's pretty exciting as you can probably tell from the way I celebrated. I was pretty fired up."

The goal came in L'Esperance's 11th NHL game. He had been putting up big numbers this season in the AHL, where he had scored 29 goals in 50 games.

"He was due. He had some pretty good chances out there tonight," said Benn. "I'd say that's a goal scorer's goal. Even though it was a tip, it takes some soft hands to do that."

L'Esperance led the Stars with six shots on goal and was named the first star of Thursday's game. He and Benn were the wings on a line with center Jason Dickinson. That trio had a strong night. During 10:34 of ice time they were on the ice for seven scoring chances for and none against and three high-danger chances for and none against. Of course, there was the goal as well.

"In the first, before [L'Esperance] scored in the second, I thought he, Jamie and Dickinson were really pushing," Montgomery said. "They had a lot of odd-man rushes, and they were driving hard."

Video: DAL@MIN: L'Esperance notches first career goal

 

4. Stars gain in playoff race, pad advantage

The two points Thursday were big for the Stars. They moved into third place in the Central Division after St. Louis lost, 2-0, at Ottawa. The Stars and Blues are tied at 79 points, and both have played the same number of games (70), but the Stars own the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins (ROW) by a 37-35 margin.

The Stars also pushed five points ahead of the Wild, who are in third place in the wild-card race (ninth in the West). They are seven points ahead of Colorado, which is fourth in the wild-card race (10th in the West).

Arizona won again Thursday to remain two points behind both the Stars and Blues. The Coyotes, who are in the second wild-card spot, have a three-point lead over the Wild and a five-point lead over Colorado.

Video: DAL@MIN: Hintz buries rebound to extend Stars' lead

 

5. Soaring on the road

The Stars have allowed four goals against in their past six games. ... The Stars now rank second in the league in goals against at 2.47 per game. ... The Stars have won four straight on the road and are 5-1-0 in their last six games away from home. ... The Stars are 16-17-3 on the road for the season. ... The Stars are 12-8-2 against the Central Division. ... The Stars outshot the Wild 31-22 and had a 53-41 advantage in shot attempts. ... Scoring chances were 21-12 Dallas, according to naturalstattrick.com. ... High-danger chances were 11-2 Stars. ... The Stars were 0-for-1 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill. ... Dallas won 30 of 50 faceoffs (60 percent). Radek Faksa won 10 of 14 faceoffs (71 percent). Tyler Seguin won 10 of 17 (59 percent). ... Esa Lindell led the Stars with 25:45 of ice time.

Here's the lineup the Stars used to start Thursday's game along with scratches and injuries.

Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Jamie Benn - Jason Dickinson - Joel L'Esperance
Mattias Janmark - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Andrew Cogliano - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Taylor Fedun - Ben Lovejoy

Ben Bishop
Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak, Julius Honka, Valeri Nichushkin
Injured: Mats Zuccarello (broken arm), Tyler Pitlick (wrist surgery), Martin Hanzal (back), Marc Methot (knee surgery), Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches)

Video: Faksa, Hintz lift Stars to 4-1 win against Wild

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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