ANAHEIM - It's worth noting that Richard Bachman is a pen named used by renowned author Stephen King, but it also happens to be the name of a Vancouver Canucks goalie who handed the Ducks a horror story of their own.
In his first NHL start in a year and a half, Bachman saved 43 of 44 Anaheim shots as the Canucks held off the Ducks 2-1 tonight at Honda Center.
Anaheim couldn't get anything past Bachman for the game's first 46 minutes, then failed to get the game's tying goal late in regulation. That wasn't for a lack of opportunity, as the Ducks had a man advantage with about five minutes left in the game and came up empty, running their power play cold streak to 1 of the last 35. They also couldn't find the equalizer when they pulled goalie Jonathan Bernier for an extra attacker with a minute and a half left.
"We got 44 shots," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, "but the desperation didn't set in until the third period."
Indeed, after not getting much going for most of the night, Anaheim finally cut a 2-0 deficit in half 6:12 into the third period, when Ryan Getzlaf slid the puck across the slot to Patrick Eaves, who buried it for his 23rd goal and second with the Ducks. (He had an empty-netter in a 5-2 victory over Toronto two nights ago.)
Video: VAN@ANA: Eaves tallies off of Getzlaf's pinpoint feed
But that was the only damage the Ducks would do in their hopes of again reaching the second-place slot in the Pacific Division standings.
Vancouver struck first tonight with 5:51 left in the first when Bernier couldn't hold on to a Ben Hutton shot, dropping the puck to the ice, where Bo Horvat punched it in.
Anaheim appeared to tie it a couple minutes later, but officials ruled on the ice that Ondrej Kase kicked the puck over the stripe and replay review held that up.
Vancouver made it 2-0 at 6:35 of the second when Markus Granlund slipped a wrister under Bernier on a 2-on-1 rush, a lead that proved too much to overcome.
"We just seemed to be sleepwalking through the first two periods," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "You saw what we could do when we got our feet moving and started executing. It was too little too late at that point. That's the type of hockey we're accustomed to playing, but we need to do it for 60 minutes, not just for one period."
The Ducks will look to get back on track Tuesday night against Nashville at Honda Center.
"As long as our group takes on the playoff mentality right now - learning from our mistakes and moving on - that's what playoff hockey is," Getzlaf said. "There are ups and downs. That's what we're in right now. We have to fight for a playoff spot."