Dallas Stars goaltender Richard Bachman made his first NHL start Saturday night in Los Angeles, and it was an impressive one. Impressive enough that he probably will get the call for the Stars’ next game. Bachman stopped 26 of 27 shots to lead the Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
“It was exciting. When the final buzzer goes off there’s a sigh of relief, especially in a tight game like that,” said the 24-year-old Bachman. “It’s fun, it’s exciting. You always dream about getting that first win. It’s a dream come true.”
Bachman made several nice saves in the game. He had a sharp save on Simon Gagne early in the game. He made a nice stop on a Colin Fraser redirection early in the second period. In the third period with the Stars protecting a 2-1 lead, he made back-to- back saves on Gagne and Drew Doughty with a little more than seven minutes left and then made a save on Kings captain Dustin Brown with 1:38 remaining.
“They were coming and we knew they were coming,” Bachman said. “The D did an awesome job keeping them to the outside and the few shots they did have from the middle they were kind of forced to keep them low, which helps.”
“I’ve had Bacher (in the AHL) and he’s a competitive guy,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “He’s pretty clean when it comes to rebounds and I think he had a real good start for us.”
And Gulutzan said it is likely that Bachman will start the Stars’ next game, which is Tuesday at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.
“I think he deserves another start,” said Gulutzan. “Most likely against the Rangers (on Tuesday) we will give him that opportunity and see if he can run with it.”
The Stars scored on their third power play of the game to take a 1-0 lead 13:35 into the game. Michael Ryder slipped by Jack Johnson off the rush, centered the puck and it deflected in off the skate of Jamie Benn.
“Just kind of drove the net, had my stick on the ice and it my foot and went in,” said Benn, who scored for just the second time in the last 13 games. “It was a lucky goal, but one I’ll take.”
The Kings drew even with a shorthanded goal at 13:58 of the second period. Anze Kopitar poked the puck away from Ryder at the Los Angeles blue line to start a two-on-zero and Brad Richardson slipped the puck between the Bachman's legs.
The Stars took the lead a little less than three minutes later. After a Tomas Vincour shot was blocked off the rush, Trevor Daley got the loose puck and beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier with a wrist shot from the slot.
While the Stars snapped a two-game losing streak, the Kings dropped their fourth straight game. It was also the eighth straight game in which they scored two goals or fewer.
“We have to be more desperate right now. We have to be more desperate the rest of the year,” said Brown. “We aren’t playing with enough intensity or enough desperation. We are a good team and now we are not playing like one.”
*The Stars improved to 8-0-0 when lead after two periods.
*The Kings are now 0-11-1 when trailing after two periods.
*Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Kari Lehtonen (groin) skated in Frisco on Saturday. Lehtonen likely will return after Christmas.
*Right wing Adam Burish (broken hand) is skating and shooting pucks. He is expected to return some time before Christmas, according to Gulutzan.