LOS ANGELES, CA – For the Kings, it’s the curious case of Richard Bachman – the goaltender who was between the pipes tonight for the Oilers at STAPLES Center. Bachman was called up from Edmonton’s AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons prior to tonight’s contest to fill in for the injured Oilers’ first-string goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
It wasn’t just Bachman’s first NHL appearance this season, but his first in an Edmonton Oilers uniform.
He did one of the best jobs you could ask for as a last-minute minor league call-up, stopping 47 of the Kings 48 shots, and extending Edmonton’s fight until the final round of tonight’s shootout.
The Kings have some rather unsuccessful history against this journeyman goalie, who had played in only 32 NHL contests prior to tonight. In fact, the Kings might be the team Bachman has had his most success against – hands down. In three career games (including tonight) against the Kings, two of them starts, Bachman has stopped 95 of the Kings 97 shots he’s faced.
After Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov opened the scoring early in the second period, the Kings couldn’t seem to find a way to get a puck past Richard Bachman to even the score, until Mike Richards found a slim opening off of a rebound from a Jake Muzzin shot.
The Kings hit the 60-minute mark in a stalemate once again, forcing them to play past regulation for the fifth time this season – where they’re perfect so far this year. After a scoreless OT period, which saw the Kings rattle off three shots on Bachman, and allow not a single shot from Edmonton, they once again took care of business in the shootout frame.
Mike Richards scored in the first round for the Kings, and Anze Kopitar struck gold in the third round. Jonathan Quick, like we’ve come to expect, handled the rest.
JAY WELLS STYLE: The Kings paid homage to their former enforcer even after the pre-game ceremony. Early in the second period, two fights broke out within three seconds of each other. Kyle Clifford dropped the gloves first, then Jordan Nolan followed suit.
SHOT MENTALITY: The Kings absolutely dominated the Oilers in the shot department tonight, whipping off 30 more shots than Edmonton by way of a 48-18 final count. The last time the Kings have had this many shots was on April 10th, 2010, when they had 55 – also against Edmonton. The Kings have outshot their opponents in 10 of 12 games this season.
SHOOTOUT AND WIN-OUT: The Kings are now 4-0 in shootouts this season, and 5-0 overall when extending a contest past regulation time. Jonathan Quick has stopped 10 of opponents’ 11 shootout attempts this season. Jordan Eberle has been the only guy to beat Quick. Anze Kopitar is 3 for 4 in shootout opportunities this year, and all three of his goals have been the deciding tally.
RIDING THE TREND: While the Kings have won seven of their last nine contests, Mike Richards has eight points (2G, 6A) in the last 10 games, and Jeff Carter has points in three straight games (1G, 2A).
The Kings will hit the road for one contest on Tuesday night in Glendale, AZ to play the Phoenix Coyotes before returning to STAPLES Center on Wednesday night to play host to the San Jose Sharks.