- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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Richard Bachman has an opportunity to run with the Dallas Stars goaltending job while Kari Lehtonen is out with a groin injury, and he is in a full sprint right now. Bachman stopped 34 shots for his first NHL shutout as the Dallas Stars defeated the New York Rangers 1-0 at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.
“It’s just a win. It’s the hockey game I’ve grown up playing. It’s a lot of a fun,” said Bachman. “It’s fun being up here with these guys and trying to take it all in. I am taking it one day at a time and see what happens from here.”
That’s two wins in two NHL starts for Bachman, who has a 0.43 goals against average and .986 save percentage (71 saves on 72 shots) in three appearances for the Stars this season.
“We’re really not that surprised,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley, who scored the game’s only goal. “He’s shown that every time he’s been up the last couple years and in exhibition. He’s living up to it.”
Bachman won against one of the top teams in the league in one of the league’s most storied buildings.
“Very impressive,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “That’s his strength. He doesn’t get too rattled. I’ve never seen the little guy get rattled. He’s got a calm demeanor. He’s a very intelligent goalie. He doesn’t panic or get rattled easily. That’s a good quality for a goaltender.
Bachman needed at least one goal on this night and he got it with 4:59 remaining in the game. After Rangers defenseman Jeff Woywitka turned over the puck, Stars captain Brenden Morrow carried the puck into the New York zone and Trevor Daley finished off a give-and-go with Mike Ribeiro.
“We stuck with it, got a break and buried it,” said Daley. “You are not going to score too many goals on that goalie. It was a hard battle and we stuck with it and came out on top.”
Up until that point it was a goaltending duel between Bachman and New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 27 of 28 shots.
Bachman made eight saves in the first period and was involved in a first period with Rangers forward Carl Hagelin, who was penalized for charging.
Lundqvist was stunned by a hard shot Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray in the second period, stayed in the game and made great stops in the third period on Eric Nystrom shorthanded and then denied a point blank chance by Ribeiro.
“It’s his demeanor to be a calm guy and he’s very tidy around his net,” said Gulutzan. “Tonight, maybe, there were a few more things laying around him than usual, but he made some huge saves on a two-on-one and on a slap shot at the end that he saw at the last minute. When you get saves like that in somebody else’s building, it lends itself to getting a few points.”
The Dallas penalty kill came up big as well, killing off four New York power plays, including two in the third period.
“The PK is huge and we did a really good job. That’s just hard work and paying the price,” said Stars forward Eric Nystrom. “Tonight we killed off some timely power plays for them and that’s a big key to winning.”
The win was the second straight on the road for the Stars and their fourth in the last six games (4-2-0) overall.
*Bachman’s shutout was the first by a Stars goaltender this season.
*The Stars are 29-31 (93.5%) on the penalty kill over the last ten games.
*The Stars improved to 8-7-0 on the road this season.
*The Stars are 8-3-1 when tied after two periods.