Richard Bachman Getty

Kari who? Dallas starts red-hot rookie in goal again

When it was learned Dallas lost Kari Lehtonen’s services until after Christmas, most figured the Stars were toast.

Then along came Richard Bachman.

Tonight in New Jersey, the unheralded 24-year-old rookie will make his fourth consecutive start, looking to improve upon his eye-popping numbers: 3-0-0 record, 0.90 GAA and .970 save percentage.

Not bad from a guy that was playing for Colorado College two years ago.

Bachman’s story is even more impressive when you consider the Stars’ circumstances. They were already flirting with implosion when Lehtonen got hurt (having lost seven of nine) and seemed in deep trouble when Lehtonen’s backup, Andrew Raycroft, gave up 10 goals in back-to-back losses to the Islanders and Sharks.

But that’s when head coach Glen Gulutzan handed the reins to Bachman.

“He’s a steady guy and he’s a good rebound control goalie,” Gulutzan said. “He’s not the biggest goalie you’re going to see in the NHL, but very clean and very composed in his and he’s given us a couple good games here.”

Thanks to Bachman, the Stars have managed to hold onto the Pacific Division lead and find themselves sitting third in the Western Conference heading into tonight’s game. While it might be asking a lot of Bachman to start his fourth straight in New Jersey (the second of  back-to-back games), Gulutzan feels his goalie is up to the challenge.

“I’ve seen him play three in three nights (in the AHL) and play well in all three,” he told ESPN Dallas. “I have no problem playing him back-to-back. I think our team has to play well in front of him, which we are more than capable of doing.”

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16

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Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”