Anton Khudobin of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Russia recorded his first playoff shutout of his National Hockey League career on Sunday. Khudobin, who has eight career NHL shutouts for five different teams in the regular season, backstopped the Dallas Stars to a 1-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in game one of the Western Conference Final from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday night.
Khudobin made 25 saves overall. He made eight saves in the first period, four saves in the second period, and 13 saves in the third period. Nate Schmidt of St. Cloud, MN, led the Golden Knights with six shots on goal. Interestingly, John Klingberg of Gothenburg, Sweden only took one shot the entire game and scored. He scored at 2:36 of the first period from Jamie Benn of Victoria, British Columbia, and Radek Faksa of Opava, Czech Republic.
The fact that Marc-Andre Fleury got the start over Robin Lehner was an interesting choice by Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer. Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh has voiced his extreme displeasure that Fleury has not got the playing time that he deserves. Lehner has been red hot as of late. He leads the Stanley Cup Playoffs with three shutouts, with all three shutouts coming against the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference semifinal series.
However on Sunday, Khudobin was statistically the better netminder. In the playoffs to date, Khudobin has a record of nine wins, and five losses, a goals against average of 2.74, a save percentage of .914, and even one assist. His point came on an assist by a goal from Denis Gurianov at 15:30 of the second period in the Stars’ 7-3 win over the Calgary Flames in game six of the Western Conference quarterfinal series on August 20. Interestingly, Khudobin also has taken a two minute minor tripping penalty in the playoffs. That happened in a 6-3 Stars loss to the Colorado Avalanche on August 31.