The hockey world had all of its eyes focused on the Cotton Bowl on Tuesday afternoon for the 2020 Winter Classic. The Dallas Stars erased an early two-goal deficit to come back and beat the Nashville Predators 4-2. The game had a little bit of everything including a penalty shot on the ice and pig races off of it. Overall, it was a great showcase for the National Hockey League, especially considering two teams from “non-traditional” hockey markets drew over 85,000 fans.
Bishop Rights the Ship
After giving up a pair of early power-play goals, one of which came on a 5-on-3 advantage, Stars goaltender Ben Bishop settled in and had himself quite the afternoon. The veteran netminder made 31 saves and kept the Predators off the board after their second goal, allowing his team to score the final four goals of the game for their third win in a row.
Bishop’s biggest save came late in the first period with his team trailing 2-0. Predators forward Craig Smith got to the front of the net for a great scoring chance off a redirection. Bishop came up with the big stop and then slammed the door shut on Smith’s stuff attempt off the rebound.
“Having it on home soil, the fans came out in great numbers and it was a lot of fun for us, so to get the win it’s just that cherry on top,” Bishop said during his postgame press conference. “To do it in front of our home fans, in Dallas, which is what this whole event is all about just make it that much better.”
With the victory, the Stars jumped over the Winnipeg Jets for third place in the Central Division.
Khudobin is a Real Beauty
Stars backup goaltender Anton Khudobin spent Tuesday afternoon on the bench watching Bishop and his teammates pick up a huge division win. When he finally got onto the ice for the team’s postgame photo, he wasted no time in having some fun.
That will be quite the photo for Khudobin and the rest of the Stars to enjoy for years to come!
Khudobin has been far from your average backup goaltender this season. He has posted a 9-5-1 record to go along with a 2.29 goals-against average (GAA) and .929 save percentage (SV%). The Stars have given up just 2.46 goals per game through their first 41 games. Only the Boston Bruins have given up fewer goals on the season. Bishop and Khudobin have allowed just 64 goals at 5-on-5, the fewest in the entire league.
Stalock’s Dive Proves Costly
When Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock gets his next paycheck, it is going to a little lighter than usual. The NHL fined Stalock $2,000 for his embellishment after contact with Jets forward Mark Scheifele back on Dec. 21.
Although Stalock was not penalized on the play, he has been busted by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department. Scheifele received a minor penalty for goaltender interference and as you can tell by his reaction, he didn’t agree with the call.
Stalock was issued a warning after a previous incident during a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 12. If he is caught embellishing again this season, his next fine will be $3,000.
Goalies Love Scoring on Jan. 2
There have been 11 different goaltenders who have scored a goal in the history of the NHL and this date had two of the more unique ones.
On Jan. 2, 1999, Damian Rhodes made league history when he became the first goaltender to ever score a goal and get a shutout in the same game. Rhodes made 30 saves to lead the Ottawa Senators over the New Jersey Devils in a 6-0 whitewashing. He was credited with a goal, in the first period, after he was the last Senator to touch the puck before Lyle Odelein accidentally shot it into his own net during a delayed penalty.
Stay up to date on all things goaltending over at THW’s Goalies Page!
Exactly two years later, Jose Theodore of the Montreal Canadiens became the second goaltender to accomplish this feat in a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders. After he made his 32nd and final save of the evening, he fired a backhand shot down the length of the ice and into the vacated Islanders’ net.