SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 08: Goaltender Richard Bachman #31 of the Dallas Stars makes a glove hand save against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion at San Jose on December 8, 2011 in San Jose, California. The Sharks won the game 5-2. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Mike Heika is on the trip with the Stars as usual and word from his twitter account after morning skate is that rookie goaltender Richard Bachman, after appearing in relief of Andrew Raycroft on Saturday, will make his first NHL start.
"You work every day in the minors to get that chance, and it's always on your mind,'' Bachman said on Friday. "It keeps pushing you to get better, to get the opportunity, so if I do get that chance, I want to make the most of it.''
Heika says that Bachman's custom is to not speak to media on days when he will start, so he was unavailable for comment today. Bachman's 20 minutes on Thursday saw him go a perfect 11 for 11. His only previous NHL experience was 10 minutes in relief last season that saw him stop four shots. He's a perfect 15 of 15 in his career, but he's about to be tested for real tonight in a building that has been historically unkind (to put it mildly) to the Dallas Stars.
Raycroft was critical of himself after practice yesterday. "You just can't give up five goals, that's the reality of it. I still feel comfortable with my game, but I just have to find a way to get in front of one of those and change the game. I just need to be a little more compact, a little more solid, and it will go our way."
"I've got to be better," he said quite simply.
The Kings will start Jonathan Bernier in net at the other end. He's 1-1-1 in his career against the Stars, 2-3-0 this season with a .893 save percentage.
Side note: The late start will be even later than you think: 9:50pm puck drop. The Kings will honor Bernie Nicholls in what is being described as a "lengthy" pre-game ceremony. They'll also wear their lovely purple and gold tonight.