NEW YORK, N.Y. – Richard Bachman’s second NHL win was hardly routine. It’s not often a goalie has more open-ice hits than goals allowed.
The Dallas Stars newcomer followed up a victory in his first start with a 34-save effort in a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
Bachman wasn’t beaten by any pucks, and he even earned a tie in a race for one in the first period, when he sped out of his crease in a chase for a loose puck in the left circle. The goalie arrived at the same time as onrushing Rangers forward Carl Hagelin and collided with him.
Hagelin was sent off for charging, Bachman shook off the hit and went on to a flawless performance.
“You kind of expect to get hit, but I didn’t expect my helmet to fly off, and I am sure that made it look a lot worse than it was,” said the 24-year-old goalie from Salt Lake City. “No way do I blame him for hitting me. I came out and we both kind of got to the puck at the same time, and that’s what happens.”
No one could have predicted that would be the keynote play in the game until defenceman Trevor Daley broke the deadlock with just 4:59 left.
Since being recalled from the Texas Stars on Nov. 27, Bachman has played in three games—the past three on Dallas’ schedule. After stopping all 11 shots he faced in a one-period relief appearance at San Jose last Thursday, Bachman made 27 saves in a 2-1 victory at Los Angeles on Saturday.
Two starts, two wins, one goal against.
“I don’t think it really has sunk in quite yet,” Bachman said. “As the game goes on and stuff, I tried just to settle in and not think too much about what was going on and the score and where I was playing.
“When you look back and think about the game we just had and the win, it’s pretty exciting.”
It seemed neither team would break through, as few scoring chances were generated during the slogfest that included multiple whistles for icing and offsides. But Daley finally found the net, finishing off a give-and-go play with Mike Ribeiro in the closing minutes.
Henrik Lundqvist was the hard-luck loser despite making 27 saves and shaking off a second-period injury. The Rangers lost for only the third time in 10 games (7-2-1). It was a disappointing finish for Brad Richards, who played his first game against the Stars since he signed a US$60 million, nine-year deal with the Rangers in July.
After defenceman Jeff Woywitka turned over the puck in the New York zone, Daley fed the puck to Ribeiro, took a return pass from him and streaked down the middle to beat Lundqvist from in close for his third goal this season.
“I tried to stay patient,” Lundqvist said. “He kind of went side to side a couple of times, and Daley finally threw it between my pads. I probably could’ve played it differently and made the save. It’s frustrating not to come with any points.”
That was all the offence Dallas needed to win for the fourth time in six games.
New York went 0-for-4 on the power play, including two chances in the third period—one after Dallas took the lead—and was shut out for the third time this season.
“This is a grind game,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. “We just wanted to make sure we utilized their bench a little bit and kept the game in the trenches so we could give ourselves a chance on the road.”
The Rangers received a major scare in the second period when Lundqvist was felled by a drive from Stars defenceman Sheldon Souray, who is known to have one of the NHL’s hardest slap shots.
Souray wound up from above the left circle and sent a sizzling shot that struck the New York goalie in the area of his left collarbone as he jumped in anticipation of the impact. He managed to stay in the play for a few seconds until the puck was frozen, and then crumpled forward while leaning on his knees. After flexing his left arm while being attended to by a trainer, Lundqvist got back up on his skates and remained in the game.
He skated to the bench for television timeouts later in the period, but appeared to only drink from a water bottle and not receive any more medical attention.
The Rangers nearly broke the deadlock late in the second whendefenceman Ryan McDonagh fired a drive while New York was short-handed, but Bachman turned it aside.
An uneventful first period, in which each team recorded eight fruitless shots, was highlighted by the collision between Hagelin and Bachman. The crash, that also included Dallas defenceman Alex Goligoski, resulted in a questionable penalty for charging.
Rangers coach John Tortorella vociferously protested from the bench, and said after the game he told Hagelin to do the same thing if the opportunity arose again.
“The goalie came out 20 feet,” Tortorella said. “Sometimes they feel they have to call something. It should’ve been a non-call.”
NOTES: The Stars have scored 14 of their 27 third-period goals in the final 10 minutes and are 10-1-1 when scoring in the last 10 minutes. … Richards played in his 800th NHL game. Dallas LW Loui Eriksson suited up for his 400th. … The Stars are three games into the trip that began with two games in California. The trip, that will conclude with games against the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, will cover over 6,500 miles. The last time the Stars went from the Pacific to Eastern time zone on one trip was in December 2009. … The Rangers (17-7-4) are tied for the fewest regulation losses in the NHL. … New York has killed 16 consecutive power plays over four games.