The St. Louis Blues live to fight another day after beating the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Sunday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
David Perron delivered the decisive goal in the second period to keep the Blues alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs, while Jordan Binnington made 22 saves between the pipes.
Heading into the third period, the Stars only needed one goal to get back into the game. The final frame couldn't have gone much worse for Dallas, as the team not only surrendered two goals but also saw goaltender Ben Bishop leave the game.
Colton Parayko's slap shot appeared to hit Bishop in the collarbone. As he remained down on the ice, the Blues capitalized and Jaden Schwartz scored to make it a 3-1 game at the 7:37 mark.
Some Stars fans likely wondered why the referee didn't stop play when Bishop went down. He was clearly injured and thus gave the Blues a wide-open net. The Athletic's Sean Shapiro explained the complexity of the situation:
Owen Newkirk, the Stars' radio host, also cited Rule 8.1, which leaves it up to the referees' discretion about whether to blow the whistle. That gray area is likely to be a topic of discussion in Dallas. By the letter of the law, the officiating crew arguably made the right decision, but Stars players and fans will be understandably frustrated with how everything unfolded.
The moment was bound to be a flash point regardless of what the referees ruled.
Bishop remained in the game, a decision Dallas immediately regretted. Thirty-three seconds after Schwartz's goal, Sammy Blais beat the Stars netminder with a slap shot over his right shoulder on the breakaway.
Bishop immediately exited to make way for Anton Khudobin. WFAA's Mike Leslie reported Stars trainers were performing an X-ray on Bishop in the locker room to determine the extent of his injury.
It's somewhat important to remember the Blues were already up 2-1 at the time of Bishop's injury.
The Stars hardly had time to settle into the game before they were staring at a 1-0 deficit. Alex Pietrangelo put St. Louis ahead 63 seconds into the first period, firing a wrist shot past Bishop.
Tyler Seguin answered with a power-play goal to even the score at one with 8:25 remaining in the period. But David Perron restored St. Louis' advantage 15:24 after the first intermission.
As if the specter of a Game 7 on the road isn't bad enough for the Stars, they might now have to start their backup goaltender.
In the regular season, Bishop was second in goals-against average (1.98) and first in save percentage (.934). Khudobin doesn't represent a significant step down as he finished 15th (2.57 goals-against average) and eighth (.923) in those two categories.
Having said that, a gap exists between Bishop and Khudobin, and it could make a difference in Game 7.
Khudobin has never made a playoff start in his NHL career, and his most recent start this year was a month ago in Dallas' 6-1 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks on April 5. Now, the 32-year-old could be thrust into the net for his team's biggest game of the season.
The series moves to a decisive Game 7 in St. Louis on Tuesday. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET.