“A bit of both,” Bowness said, followed by a long laugh from the veteran coach.
Friday’s start marked Khudobin’s 23rd game played for Dallas in the playoffs, including 22 starts. He was retired in Game 3 against the Lightning after giving up five goals in two periods, replaced by rookie Jake Oettinger.
After the game, Bowness said back-to-back games and Khudobin’s pace of work were both factors that drew him to the third period.
« [Khudobin] fought so hard during the playoffs. You just gave him a break, “Bowness said after Game 3.” The back-to-backs come in. We gave the child [Jake Oettinger] more experience and gave Dobby a break. ”
Khudobin said after the game that he didn’t need the rest.
“The coach made the decision to shake up or change something. I didn’t feel like I had to rest, ”he said, indicating he was ready for Game 4.
The team’s other goaltender, Ben Bishop, was “unfit to play” in Game 4, as were center Radek Faksa and defenseman Stephen Johns. Oettinger was the replacement. Bishop was limited to the playoffs with a lower-body injury, played round robin games against Vegas, in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against Calgary, then was struck out in first Game 5 against Colorado in the conference semifinals. , after giving up four goals in just 13:43.
Bishop skated and participated in optional workouts this week.
Bishop’s status for Game 5 is a critical moment in the series. Over his career, Khudobin led a 5-6-0 scoreline with a 2.65 goals-against average and .915 save percentage on zero days off. Those numbers influenced the Stars’ decision to seat him for Game 5 of the semi-finals against Colorado, although they gave the Stars a 3-1 lead 24 hours earlier. Bishop said it was good to play in this game, and Bowness didn’t trust Oettinger in an elimination game. Khudobin ended up playing 40:57 after Bishop was taken out.
While it’s only 37 minutes and eight shots on goal, Oettinger has more taste for the playoffs now than he did on August 31, when Bowness switched to Bishop. Yet his two Stanley Cup playoff appearances are the only NHL games he has played. Oettinger, a 21-year-old Boston University product, became the first goalie in 55 years to make his NHL debut in the round before the Stanley Cup Final. His first NHL start may be in the Stanley Cup Final.
Bowness said he had the last call on goaltenders while consulting his assistant coaches and goaltending coach Jeff Reese.