Ducks Get Ready for Vancouver

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 9:41 PM PT / News
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Ducks Get Ready for Vancouver
By Dan Wood
Ducks Radio Analyst

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – In the midst of their best stretch of the 2011-12 NHL season, the Ducks will face a stern test Sunday night when they take on the defending Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

Friday night’s impressive 5-0 victory at Edmonton gave the Ducks a 4-0-1 record since Jan. 6, a five-game point streak that is their longest this season.

Even though the club had also played Thursday night in Calgary, dropping a 1-0, overtime decision, Coach Bruce Boudreau took the Ducks to Rogers Arena on Saturday morning. Instead of skating, however, players went through off-ice workouts.

“It’s all different,” Boudreau said, explaining the off-day strategy. “If we’re winning, I want them to come to the rink to stay in that mode – being together and everything. If we weren’t being successful, sometimes stay away from the rink. But when you’re winning, come to the rink, get into the feeling of being in the dressing rooms, around the arenas ’cause it’s a good feeling when you’re winning. You want to continue that.”

The coaching staff also gave the Ducks some video to watch, an exercise that was no doubt more pleasant that at earlier points this season.

Including home victories over the New York Islanders, Columbus and Dallas, the Ducks have outscored their opposition by a combined 21-9 over the past five games.

“Overall, the last two games, the last five games, we’re playing a lot better defensively,” Boudreau said. When you play better defensively, usually your offense picks up. Except for the one game, it has. We’ve averaged over five goals a game in the four wins. It’s hard to understand sometimes that good defense creates good offense, but good offense doesn’t necessarily create good defense. It’s a real important factor, I believe.

“In the end, we can talk for hours, but the goaltending is the key to everything. If you get good goaltending, it makes up for a tremendous amount of mistakes. The goaltending in these last five games has been superb, so our record is 4-0-1.”

The two games in Alberta featured Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at his best. After having missed Tuesday’s 5-2, home victory over the Stars because of a lower-body injury, Hiller stopped a combined 51 of 52 shots against the Flames and Oilers. He recorded his second shutout this season and the 13th of his career Friday, registering 33 saves.

Hiller’s top-notch play goes back even farther. He has surrendered only four goals over his past four appearances, recording a .951 save percentage in the process.

“I’m definitely feeling pretty good,” Hiller said Friday. “I think the whole team looks pretty positive, pretty good on the ice, and I feel good. I’ll try to keep my part going as well.”

It’s safe to say that Hiller is playing his best hockey of the season.

“The whole team is playing their best hockey right now, which makes it easier for me to play well,” Hiller said. “We also know we have a little streak going because we were working hard, working harder than before, working more as a unit. We know we have to keep working to keep that good thing going.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 73 44 23 6 207 167 94
5 MIN 74 42 25 7 211 183 91
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 74 40 27 7 217 195 87
10 DAL 74 36 28 10 232 236 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 74 21 40 13 177 254 55
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 73 24 44 14 68
C. Perry 61 32 20 16 52
R. Kesler 76 19 27 -5 46
S. Vatanen 61 12 25 7 37
J. Silfverberg 75 12 23 11 35
P. Maroon 67 9 24 -4 33
C. Fowler 74 7 26 3 33
H. Lindholm 73 7 26 22 33
J. Wisniewski 64 8 24 -14 32
M. Beleskey 62 22 9 14 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 32 11 5 .913 2.41
J. Gibson 12 7 0 .914 2.65

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