The last time Ben Bishop attended a playoff hockey game in St. Louis, he was 15 and jeering Dallas Stars goalie Eddie Belfour from the stands as his hometown Blues swept the Stars in the second round.
That was 2001. Now, Bishop has helped lead the Stars back to St. Louis for a second-round series after eliminating Nashville on Monday with a heart-stopping 2-1 win in overtime. Game 1 is set for 8:30 p.m. Thursday, the NHL announced late Tuesday.
“I can remember screaming at Belfour for the last 10 minutes,” Bishop said on KTCK/1310 The Ticket. “You know you’re doing something right if everyone is yelling your name.”
At the moment, everyone is yelling Bishop’s name because he’s been so dominant, not only in the first round, but also the entire season.
He had a postseason career-high 47 saves in Game 6, which is the sixth-most in franchise postseason history. The Stars are the first team to not allow a power play goal in a playoff series since the Washington Capitals in 2015. The Predators were 0 for 15 in the series and 0 for 4 on Monday.
Both teams were exhausted after the game, of course. Tyler Seguin was too tired to put on a shirt during his postgame interview. Through almost 80 minutes of hockey, the game was tied for the final 31:42 before John Klingberg’s goal with 2:53 remaining in OT sent the American Airlines Center crowd into a frenzy.
“What a period, what a game to watch,” said Bishop, who is one of three Vezina Trophy finalists, which honors the league’s top goalie. “I didn’t have time to even process what was going on because it was happening so quick. I’m sure the fans were even tired going home.”
The Stars’ on-ice celebration took the last ounces of energy out of the team.
“We had so many chances in overtime I was just like, come on boys, get one in there,” Bishop said. “Once I saw it hit the net I couldn’t have been any more excited. I was tired to begin with and then after that celebration I was exhausted.”