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Shane Doan Jersey
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A funny thing has happened after the Dallas Stars ran into injury troubles.They have managed to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race. Now Michael Frolik Jersey , the Stars (13-10-3) have a chance to improve their fortunes as top goaltender Ben Bishop returns from injury Saturday in Vancouver against the Canucks (11-14-3).“The best part of our game has been our goaltending,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery told reporters after a practice Friday. “It doesn’t matter which one (Bishop or Anton Khudobin) is in nets. They always give us an opportunity. When Bish is in there, it’s a different feeling behind the bench. He gives us more control, positioning, poise and, obviously, the puckhandling is really good.”Article continues below ...Bishop sports an 8-5-1 record, .923 save percentage, 2.33 goals-against average and two shutouts this season. He has missed the past five games with an undisclosed lower-body injury.Montgomery confirmed that he will start in goal against the Canucks.Perhaps not coincidentally, the Stars have only two wins in the past six games as Khudobin has carried most of the netminding load. Temporary backup Landon Bow was returned to the Texas Stars of the AHL on Friday.Khudobin earned praise from Montgomery for his competitiveness. The Stars have lost four of their past six games Authentic Mikael Backlund Jersey , but Dallas currently sits — just barely — above the playoff bar.That’s quite a feat considering that the Stars have been playing without top defensemen John Klingberg (hand) and Marc Methot (knee) — as well as fellow rearguards Stephen Johns (neck/headaches) and Connor Carrick (foot).Only one of the six defensemen now playing regularly, Esa Lindell, 24, toiled with Dallas last season.Most of the defense minutes have been logged by an unlikely mix of other teams’ castoffs — Joe Hanley, 27; Taylor Fedun, 30, and Roman Polak, 32 — and young prospects Miro Heiskanen, 19, who is viewed as a rookie of the year candidate Mike Smith Jersey , and Gavin Bayreuther, 24.“We’ve got a lot of call-ups here, and we’re a bunch of underdogs, to be honest — and we’re playing our hearts out,” Bayreuther, who began the season in the AHL, told the team’s website.Montgomery said the veterans and youngsters on the blue line have inspired the rest of the Stars.“They’re saving our season — there’s no other way to say it,” said Montgomery.The Stars are coming off an overtime win in Calgary on Wednesday. Meanwhile the struggling Canucks hope to rebound from what coach Travis Green called a “disheartening” home-ice loss Thursday to Vegas. The Golden Knights prevailed 4-3 on a shorthanded goal by William Karlsson after a blatant turnover — and lack of effort — by the Canucks in the final six and a half minutes.Green expressed strong disappointment after the game Thursday. But the coach, whose injury-depleted club has only one win in 11 games, tried to put a positive spin on the result Friday Artemi Panarin Jersey , contending he “felt great” about his team’s showing.“I’d take (Thursday) night’s game 82 times and I’d be really happy,” he said. “And I know our record would be a lot better than a lot of people thought we’d be at the start of the year. If (Thursday) night’s game is there every night, we’re definitely making a lot of improvements.”The injury-riddled Canucks got some good news Friday as they was learned top defenseman Alex Edler will be able to play Saturday after receiving a cut in the face and going through the concussion protocol Thursday. Edler took part in practice and told reporters he is good to play against the Stars.“Five guys (were) out again (Thursday) night, so it was nice not to add Edler to the list,” said Green. ST. LOUIS — The Blues are hoping home is where the heart is, or at least where a strong third period is.St. Louis begins a seven-game home stand as it hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. The Blues come back to Enterprise Center ice after ending a three-game road trip with a thud by surrendering a third period lead and eventually losing in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.“We won the first period, we won the second period, and we lost the third period badly,” Blues head coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com. “We lost the hockey game. We just didn’t finish it off.”Article continues below ...It’s a familiar synopsis so far this season as the Blues blew a lead in the third period for the third time this season, a big reason why they stumble into the matchup with the Blue Jackets with a 2-3-3 record.Blues goalie Jake Allen said the team needs to change its mentality.“I think we’re scared to lose games right now Shane Doan Jersey ,” Allen told NHL.com. “We’re behind in the standings, we know that. We know that each point’s crucial, and we’re playing in the third period like we’re scared to lose a game.”St. Louis made a couple of roster moves, sending forwards Sammy Blais and Robby Fabbri to its AHL affiliate in San Antonio.Blais played in eight games this season for the Blues. Fabbri was sent out on a conditioning assignment as he attempts to return from a groin injury suffered during the preseason.St. Louis won both meetings against Columbus last season and the Blue Jackets enter the contest after back-to-back 4-1 losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes.Against Arizona on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets scored 31 seconds into the game but were outplayed the rest of the way.“The plays are there to be made, we’re not making them,” left winger Nick Foligno told NHL.com. “We’re just missing a guy’s stick by an inch or we’re not making the plays fast enough. We’re cycling when we should be passing, passing when we should be cycling.“We’re out of sync like that. I don’t know what it is.”Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was not happy with his team’s response against the Coyotes.“The alarming thing to me about tonight’s game is when (Arizona) realized they had a chance to win this one, they go up 3-1, they checked www.floridapanthersteamshops.com ,” Tortorella told NHL.com. “They checked hard and we didn’t have an answer for that. That’s the thing that bothered me the most about tonight’s game, our willingness to get through checking.“We have some work to do. We need to get a little fight in our game. That helps people have success, not wait for success to come to you. You’ve got to have a little determination in your game to have success. Good things will happen that way.”On a bright note, defenseman Seth Jones logged 27:24 of ice time in his season debut after recovering from a MCL sprain.“I thought I made some good offensive plays, some good defensive plays,” Jones told NHL.com. “I don’t know how much I played but I felt pretty good out there.”


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