Ben Bishop injury leaves Stars vulnerable before playoff push

WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 18: Mattias Janmark
WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 18: Mattias Janmark /

The Dallas Stars playoff hopes could be fading after goaltender Ben Bishop goes down again with an injury.

For the second time in a recent stretch, Dallas Stars netminder Ben Bishop has gone down with an injury. According to his coach, Ken Hitchcock, he is likely to be gone for at least the next two weeks.

This spells trouble for the Dallas Stars, who can’t buy a win right now and are in danger of losing touch in the wild card race. They have nine games remaining.

Bishop’s injury came in the first period on a marvelous glove save. But instead of stout comparisons to the Hamburglar, he seemed once more to tweak his knee. This is the second lower-body issue he has sustained after missing the previous five.

The initial damage came on March 5 against Ottawa when defenseman Dan Hamhuis fell on top of him. Bishop would leave that game, only to return in their last contest on March 16. That was also against Ottawa. Dallas lost that contest in overtime.

The blow could be cataclysmic for a team searching to find points near the end of the regular season. Goaltending, though has been the least of their worries. They have scored 2 or fewer in seven of their previous eight and will now rely on backup Kari Lehtonen to carry the load once more.

Dallas is likely to call up Mike McKenna from the AHL, a move they made before when Bishop was out to begin the trip. They finish the six-game gauntlet against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night and return home for a three-day stand that begins with Boston on Friday.

Next: 30 best NHL jerseys of all-time

If the two-week timetable is correct on Bishop, he could make a return during the final slew of games on the west coast in early April. The Dallas Stars just have to hang on and hope they can make those games count.