By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – The Ducks offense got off to a fast start and their defense did the work the rest of the way as two first-period goals gave way to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center.
|Perry's goal in the first was among the fastest in Ducks history.
Corey Perry had a goal just 16 seconds into the game and Chris Kunitz had one at the end of the first to lead the Ducks to their second straight win and 11th in the last 12 contests with Chicago (including four in a row). In a game they looked like they should run away with, the Ducks had to rely on their defense to hold a one-goal lead over most of the last two periods in handing Chicago its fourth straight loss.
Swiss rookie Jonas Hiller had 20 saves saves in earning his third win of the season. Hiller got the start since the Ducks were playing the first of back-to-back games, and No. 1 goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is expected to start tomorrow night at Phoenix.
"We had a few turnovers where they went down and had some great chances," Perry said. "Luckily, we had Hiller back there in net for us tonight. He did a heck of a job. It was one of those games where it could have gone either way, but we escaped with the victory."
Among Hiller’s saves were some key stops over the closing seconds of the game, as Chicago (with their net empty) won the faceoff in the Anaheim zone and put the puck immediately on net. Hiller made that first save and he and the rest of the Ducks denied the Hawks as they feverishly tried to poke at the loose puck. 700K
"I was just looking for the puck and trying to close the bottom of the ice," Hiller said. "I tried somehow squared to the puck. I’m happy it didn’t go in. Sometimes you need a little luck as a goalie and I had that tonight. I’m happy about the win."
Most of the sellout crowd at Honda Center fans had barely found their seats when the Ducks went up 1-0 on Perry’s 21st goal. Ryan Getzlaf got the play started with a feed from behind the net to Sean O’Donnell for the one-timer from the circle. The shot was blocked by Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, but Perry punched in the rebound. 700K
"It was huge," Perry said of the quick goal. "We knew what they’re lineup was like. We had to get out there and get on them early and try to take the winds out of their sails. It was a great pass off the back wall and I got to put in the net. It was a good start."
The goal tied for second-fastest in Ducks history to start a game and was the fastest at home. Steve Rucchin also scored 16 seconds in on Jan. 15, 1997 at Calgary and Paul Kariya scored eight seconds into a game in Colorado on March 9, 1997.
|Hiller had 20 saves, including key stops over the final seconds to secure the victory.
Among those saves was a tremendous stop on a one-timer from the top of the slot by Adam Burish early in the first in which Hiller closed an open half of the net by sprawling out to kick it away at the last second. 700K
Perry was originally credited with his second of the game with just 47 seconds left in the opening period. On the power play, Perry charged toward the left circle and let go of a backhander that Kunitz made a half-swing at on its way to the net. It was later determined that Kunitz tipped it on its way into the net. 700K
In addition to the goal, Kunitz deserved credit for setting up the power play. On one of several instances where the Ducks went on a shorthanded rush, Kunitz sailed toward the net to draw a hooking minor on Kris Versteeg. When the resulting 4-on-4 ran out a minute later, the Ducks took advantage.
Anaheim gave Chicago two power plays in the period, but didn’t give up a shot on either one. For the game, the Ducks gave up just three shots on four Chicago power plays, qnd have now killed off 37 of 40 penalties over the last eight games. Anaheim outshot Chicago 32-21 overall.
Chicago was able to cut into the Ducks lead 1:56 into the second, as a one-timer try by rookie Patrick Kane was blocked by Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who couldn’t find the puck before Patrick Sharp batted it off him and under the right corner of the goal. 700K
That was it for the scoring the rest of the game, though both teams had chances. At 15:55 into the second and again on a shorthanded rush, Chris Kunitz gave Rob Niedermayer a perfect cross-ice feed, but Niedermayer couldn’t find the handle to redirect it to an open half of the net. At 16:50 Robert Lang fired a shot from the right circle that eluded Hiller, but glanced off the left post.
The Ducks hit posts within about 40 seconds of each other late in the third, as Perry hit the crossbar on a redirection try on a mid-air puck and Chris Pronger rang one off the pipe with the Ducks on a power play with less than five minutes left.
"I think tonight we provided lots of quality scoring chances," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "But on the other side we gave up too many from our standpoint as a coaching staff. I think if we continue to put people to net, get the puck to the net, play that trip and support game and that strong offensive zone cycle, goals will come. "
Ducks played their fifth straight game without center Samuel Pahlsson, who is suffering with an abdominal strain.
Anaheim goes at it again in Phoenix tomorrow night, the only road date in the Ducks’ first seven games of 2008.
Over the last eight games, the Ducks have allowed an average of 22.7 shots per game (182 total).
The Ducks have posted a 6-2-1 record over the last nine games, earning 13 of a possible 18 standings points (.722 win percentage).
Anaheim has not allowed a goal in the third period in nine HOME games dating back to Nov. 25, 2007 vs. LA. The club also has won three consecutive and earned at least one standings point in four straight games at HOME (3-0-1).
With an assist tonight, Ryan Getzlaf extended his point streak to six games (2-5=7), his second-longest of the season (6-6=12 points in eight games, Nov. 7-25). He has also earned 4-11=15 points in the last 15 games.
With a goal tonight, Chris Kunitz recorded his team-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season, also giving him a tie for second in the NHL in that category.
Tonight’s game marked the Ducks’ 55th consecutive sellout (17,174) at Honda Center (43 regular season plus 12 playoff games). Anaheim’s sellout streak is the third-longest among U.S.-based NHL teams.
20:00 - END OF GAME - With just seconds left, the Hawks win the draw and immediately put the puck on net. Hiller makes a save and then several more as Chicago players feverishly poke at the loose puck in front. It's finally kicked away from the net as time expires. The Ducks win their second straight and 11th of the last 12 against Chicago.
19:52 - The Ducks make things very difficult for the Hawks in the Anaheim zone, before clearing the puck into an icing call with 7.5 left.
19:00 - Hiller flicks away a shot by Robert Lang into the netting. The Hawks call timeout.
18:55 - The Hawks empty the net
16:40 - A Pronger shot hits the left post. The Ducks are unlucky the last few seconds.
16:04 - CHI Penalty - Patrick Sharp, 2 min. slashing. Ducks go on a 5 on 3 late.
16:01 - Corey Perry
makes a sweet redirection try on a puck in midair, and it barely hits the bottom of the crossbar. Would have been a gorgeous goal.
Does the Honda Center deejay realize there was music recorded after 1994?
15:03 CHI Penallty - Robert Lang, 2 min. hooking. - Bobby Ryan
gets in tremendous position to use his body and take the puck away from a Chicago skater, leading to the penalty. Ryan is playing his rear off tonight. Somebody wants to stay here a very long time.
13:12 - Big kill for Anaheim. Nice prediction by the LED ring.
13:06 - Hiller makes a save on a Duncan Keith shot from the point, but scares everyone when he looks around for it. It's underneath him.
12:29 - Rene Bourque absolutely crushes a one-timer that hits the crossbar and sails into the protective netting.
12:04 - The Ducks again get a chance shorthanded, and Francois Beauchemin finishes it off with a rocket that sails over the net.
11:14 - The LED ring already reads "PENALTY KILL". Let's hope they're right.
11:12 - ANA Penalty - Mathieu Schneider, 2 min. interference. The Ducks need to hang tough.
10:54 - Doug Weight, skating on a line with Ryan and Kunitz that looks phenomenal tonight, rips a shot from the slot that Khabi barely kicks away.
7:36 - Racing down the left wing, Bobby Ryan
makes a gorgeous pass to Chris Kunitz, whose redirect try is barely kicked away.
6:25 - Rob Niedermayer makes a nice backhand pass for a Ryan Carter
one-timer that is gloved by Khabi.
4:45 - Getzlaf's nice feed from behind the net is whiffed at by Bertuzzi at the top of the slot.
4:30 - Bertuzzi's try is glove saved by Khabi.
3:47 - Perry looks like he has a chance to punch in a loose puck, but he's denied, as more than 17,000 groan.
3:09 - CHI Penalty - Cameron Barker, 2 min. high sticking. Bobby Ryan
sets up the play by making a tremendous steal as he's falling to the ice, allowing Getzlaf to head up the ice with the puck one one one with Barker, who gets him in the face.
2:15 - Pronger rockets a slap shot on the power play that makes a loud noise as its saved by Khabi.
0:48 - CHI Penalty - Patrick Kane, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks go on their fourth power play, and they are 1-3.
0:00 - We're off and running in the third, the Ducks clinging to the one-shot lead.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Both teams generate chances in the second, though the Ducks are outshot 7-5 and Chicago gets one back from Sharp 1:56 into the period. The Ducks head to the break with a 2-1 lead.
19:43 - Lang gets on a 2-on-1 and takes a shot that Hiller saves in the midsection. A bit of strife between Ducks and Hawks after the save, but not much.
18:10 - Perry rips a nice one-timer from the left circle, but Khabi makes the save.
17:07 - The Ducks finish off a big kill.
16:50 - Lang takes a shot from the right circle that eludes Hiller and glances off the left post.
16:30 - Moen has it in the Chicago zone, loses it and gets it back before firing a shot that misses the net.
15:55 - Again, the Ducks make a rush shorthanded, and on the 2-on-1 Kunitz makes a nice feed to Niedermayer who somehow can't handle it.
15:45 - Kane moves hard to the net, but Hiller denies.
15:07 - ANA Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. hooking. Huskins hooks Kane near the Ducks net as things are leaning in the Hawks' favor.
14:02 - Hiller kicks away another Hawks try and the rebound just slides outside the left post.
13:45 - Hiller makes the second of two nices saves, this time on a Robert Lang shot that's deflected.
12:48 - Second offside call on Chicago in the last 15 seconds. That's about all we have for you right now.
12:35 - Not a lot of action after that early Chicago goal.
Easy Carl's Jr. trivia tonight. They name five of the six Original Six and ask the guy to name the missing one. He's even given choices: NY Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota North Stars. He guesses New York and of course he's right. Somehow he also gets the bonus question of when another six teams were added: 1967. Is this thing rigged?
6:20 - Scott Niedermayer pokes a puck away from a charging Hawks forward in the slot with such nonchalance that he looks like he was reading a magazine while doing it.
3:58 - CHI Penalty - Andrei Zyuzin, 2 min. slashing. The Ducks go on the power play again.
1:56 - CHICAGO GOAL - PATRICK SHARP - Kris Versteeg picks up the puck in the corner and throws a backhand pass to rookie Patrick Kane at the top of the crease. His one-timer hits Hiller, who has a hard time finding it, and Sharp is right there in front to bat it back off Hiller and into the top right corner. The Ducks lead it cut to 2-1.
There is a scoring change on the Ducks' last goal (see below).
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - As might have been expected, the Ducks dominate the Hawks in the first, outshooting them 15-7 and taking a 2-0 lead on two Perry goals.
19:13 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - (SCORING CHANGE FROM EARLIER) CHRIS KUNITZ- On the power play, Scott Niedermayer gives it to Corey Perry, who charges toward the left circle and fires a backhand shot. Kunitz deflects it in with a half-swing on its way to the net. They originally give the goal to Perry, but change it during the intermission. It's 2-0 Ducks.
18:12 - CHI Penalty - Kris Versteeg, 2 min. hooking. Kunitz does a great job to draw the minor, heading up the right wing shorthanded (it's looking familiar now) and trying to make a move on goal before Versteeg hooks him to cause Kunitz to lose the puck.
16:40 - ANA Penalty - Mathieu Schneider, 2 min. hooking. From this angle, it looks like Schneider should have been called for "standing next to a Chicago player as he falls down." Didn't look like Schneider caused Patrick Kane's tumble at all, and judging by his reaction, he didn't.
15:15 - On the power play, Pronger hesitates before trying a slap shot, but misjudges and snaps his stick in half as Chicago easily clears it. Seconds later, the penalty runs out.
13:35 - CHI Penalty - Rene Bourque, 2 min. tripping. Like Niedermayer seconds before, Moen ends up with the puck streaking down the right wing shorthanded and is spun down from behind into Khabi as he tries to get off a shot.
13:15 - Rob Niedermayer heads the other way shorthanded and gets off a wrister that Khabi kicks away.
12:08 - ANA Penalty - Todd Bertuzzi, 2 min. hooking. Bertuzzi gives it away when his stick goes flying after the hook.
The tennis balls are back! They're sitting in their most frequent spot, five rows behind the goal the Ducks shoot at in the first and third. Thank goodness. I was worried about them when they no-showed Wednesday.
9:40 - Trying to chase a Chicago player behind their net, Getzlaf runs into the official and knocks him down. The few people who saw it cheered. How rude.
Again, Perry's goal is tied for the second-fastest in club history with Steve Rucchin (back on Jan. 15, 1997 at Calgary). Somebody named Kariya scored 8 seconds in at Colorado on March 9, 1997. It's the fastest at home in Ducks history.
6:43 - Perry gets deep and fires a shot that Khabi gloves.
By the way, the Ducks PA guy wished everybody "Happy New Year" before announcing the lineups . If you read Ducks Blog, you know my feelings about that.
3:20 - Hiller makes a tremendous save on a one-timer from the top of the slot by Adam Burish, one of several saves he makes as he's peppered with Hawks shots. That includes a rebound try by Robert Lang a few seconds later.
By the way, Khabibulin is too much to type, so we're just going with Khabi from now on. Hope you don't mind.
0:16 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Before much of the crowd has even found their seats, Ryan Getzlaf feeds Sean O'Donnell from the behind the net. O'Donnell's one-timer from the left circle is blocked by Khabibulin, but Perry is there to punch in the rebound. It's 1-0 Ducks and it's tied for the second-fastest goal to start the game in Ducks history.
0:00 - We're underway at Honda Center.
7:08 p.m. - Nice rendition of the anthem by the slightly dramatic Jill Burke.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA Jonas Hiller
; CHI Nikolai Khabibulin
Starting Skaters: ANA Corey Perry
, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Getzlaf
, Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger; CHI Tuomo Ruutu, Robert Lang, Cameron Barker, Adam Burish, Dusin Byfuglien
Scratches: ANA Brandon Bochenski, Joe DiPenta; CHI Magnus Johansson, Yanic Perrault
Hiller gets the start in goal for the Ducks in the first half of a back-to-back, as they play at Phoenix tomorrow night.