By Adam Brady (email@example.com)
ANAHEIM – In a day-after-Thanksgiving matinee at Honda Center, scoring from the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks took a post-turkey afternoon nap.
But the Ducks got all they needed as Ryan Getzlaf scored their lone tally in the second period and Jonas Hiller saved 26 for his second career shutout in a 1-0 victory for Anaheim.
Hiller was on the Anaheim side of a matchup of backup goalies, as he filled in for Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who flew to his hometown of Montreal for family reasons. For Chicago, Cristobal Huet subbed for the injured Nikolai Khabibulin, who was listed as day-to-day after suffering a lower body injury last Wednesday at San Jose. Both backups looked sharp, as the Getzlaf goal with 4:41 left in the second was the only damage done among the 21 Ducks shots.
It was the second straight win at home (third overall) for the Ducks, who improved to 7-6-2 at Honda Center, 13-8-3 overall. The Ducks are 12-3-3 in their last 18.
"It’s different for us," Getzlaf said of the afternoon start time. "It’s kind of out of our normal routine and out of the ordinary for us, coming to a one o’clock game, but that’s part of what it is to be a professional."
Hiller improved to 4-0-0 with a 1.43 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage over his last five starts, including his first two NHL shutouts.
"During the game, you don’t think too much about [a shutout]," Hiller said. "You just try to makes the next save. Sometimes you look up to see how much time is left. At the end it doesn’t really matter if its four-to-zero or one-to-zero. You just try to stop the next puck. For sure I’m happy about the shutout."
The two teams skated scoreless for the game’s first 35 minutes but that wasn’t for a lack of scoring opportunities. Dave Bolland had a wide open net 8:20 into the second period, catching goalie Jonas Hiller out of position, but Bolland missed the net wide. Meanwhile, Hiller made several other big stops on the 20 Blackhawks shots in the first two periods. Scott Niedermayer had a chance at a goal when Chicago goalie Cristobal Huet went down on his side during a scramble in front. Niedermayer was looking at an open top half of the net, but shot it over the crossbar.
The Ducks finally broke the ice with 4:41 left in the second on Getzlaf’s ninth of the season. Getzlaf actually fanned on his first shot attempt off a Corey Perry pass, but had the presence of mind to find the puck again and whip a backhander inside the far post.
"It went through a couple of legs," Getzlaf said. "I was able to get a skate on it and keep it in play. Their guy came through a little bit and the goalie slid across. It was a big mess in there so I just swung at it, lifted it up and put it in."
That was all the scoring either team did the entire game, as the Ducks kept the Hawks out of their zone for much of the afternoon. Chicago sent Huet to the bench for an extra attacker with about a minute and a half left, but the Hawks could net even get a shot off during that stretch.
"We played pretty well defensively," Hiller said. "They didn’t have too many opportunities. They had some on the power play but we did well on the penalty kill. If you play defense first, you always have a chance to win."
The Ducks were again without Brian Sutherby, who continues to recover from a strained groin. Ryan Carter was a healthy scratch for Anaheim.
"I think the games immediately after Thanksgiving seem to be a little bit different," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. I don’t think either team executed to the level that their coaches would be happy with. There is more room for improvement, but as a coach, I’ve said it a million times, you’re not going to critique the win. We got a goal and they didn’t. We’ll take it."
The Ducks hit the road for a game Sunday in Carolina, followed by road games at Detroit and a rematch with Chicago.
The Ducks have killed all 13 power plays against over the last three games and have killed 14 straight penalties overall dating to the third period of the Nov. 21 contest at St. Louis.
Anaheim’s shutout win this afternoon marked its first over Chicago at home since Dec. 17, 1999 (2-0).
The Ducks have a four-game HOME winning streak vs. the Blackhawks…the club has earned a point in 14 consecutive home games against Chicago (11-0-3; two ties and one OTL)…Anaheim’s last regulation home defeat vs. Chicago was on Feb. 7, 2001 (3-2)
is the only player in the NHL to have two different point streaks of six games-or-longer…Getzlaf currently has a seven-game point streak (3-6=9) after recording a nine-game point streak earlier this season (Oct. 24-Nov. 7; 6-12=18).
Left wing Bobby Ryan
has 2-3=5 points with a +5 rating in his last five games…Ryan has been a plus-or-even player in all six NHL games this season (+6).
With an assist today, Corey Perry
has points in three straight games (1-2=3) and earned 3-6=9 points in the last eight games.
Today’s attendance was 16,994.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks hold the Blackhawks without a shot over the closing seconds, as they hang on for the 1-0 victory.
19:30 - Probably unwisely, Getzlaf ices it into the corner with 29.2 left.
18:45 - Huet to the bench.
18:30 - Ducks keep it in the Chicago zone, not allowing Huet to be pulled.
17:05 - Selanne continues to pepper the net with shots, to no avail.
16:26 - Bobby Ryan
is barely offside as the Ducks' top line heads on a rush. The crowd "awwwww"s.
13:50 - Hiller chest-bumps a Kane wrister.
11:21 - Hiller stands tall on a Ladd shot from the left wing circle. Jo-Nasty looking strong today.
8:30 - Morrison takes the puck away from Keith and is off on a 2 on 1 with Selanne. He feeds the Flash, whose shot is stopped by Huet.
6:56 - Andrew Ladd tries a wraparound that Hiller won't allow. A bit of pushing and shoving behind the net as Montador and Kane go at it.
Ducks Fan Development Manager Champ Baginski is interviewed during the timeout about the team's Wild Wingers Kids Club donation program. Yes, we have an employee named Champ (not his given name).
5:48 - Hiller looks like he makes a gargantuan save on a Chicago chance, diving to knock away a Patrick Sharp shot with the glove, as Sharp was starting at an open net. The shot might have actually gone wide, but Hiller was there anyway.
5:15 - Morrison takes in a nice feed from Selanne on the rush, but his shot is knocked away by Huet.
4:20 - Brad May is back in there after looking like he hurt his knee in the second.
2:30 - Ducks dodge another one, as Versteeg is right there for the one-timer but lets it slide under his stick.
0:10 - Ducks still on the power play after that Sopel minor.
0:00 - Off and running in the third, the Ducks clinging to a slim lead.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get that elusive first goal, from Getzlaf, to take a 1-0 lead.
19:05 - CHI Penalty - Brent Sopel, 2 min. high sticking. During a battle for the puck in the corner, Sopel gets Selanne in the mug. First power play for Anaheim.
"When You Were Young" by the Killers. Better.
By the way, I should have mentioned earlier that Bret Hedican's 1,000th game was played last Friday against St. Louis. Not today. (And I've changed it below to cover my tracks.) The lesson, as always: I'm an idiot.
15:19 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Getzlaf is unbelievable on this one, as he takes a feed from Perry in front of the net and fans on the initial shot. But he stays with the puck and whips a backhander through traffic just inside the far post. First goal of the game and Getzlaf's ninth on the year.
Huey Lewis and the News' "Working for a Living" during the Bumps 'N' Bruises segment. What, no Duran Duran?
11:56 - The Ducks nearly get one as Duncan Keith almost kicks the puck into his own net. It's still loose in the crease as Getzlaf and Perry jab at it, but Huet holds his ground.
I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister on the sound system. Seriously? Somebody needs to tell our DJ that there was music recorded after 1986.
11:32 - George Parros
gets this crowd riled up, dropping the gloves quickly with Matt Walker against the penalty box glass (where they will both be in a minute). Parros lands a series of rights to Walker's head before they wrestle each other to the ice.
Continuing the tradition of playing timely music in here, we get "Living on a Prayer" during the delay before the faceoff.
8:20 - Ducks dodge a major bullet, as nearly the whole net is open for Bolland, who somehow misses wide.
8:06 - Hiller stops a Havlat shot nicely.
6:43 - ANA Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. holding.
6:31 - Hiller makes a gorgeous stop, sliding over quickly to his right to thwart a Dave Bolland one-timer on the odd-man rush.
4:50 - Scott Niedermayer gets in deep and puts a shot on Huet that's saved. In the scramble around the net for it, Huet goes down on his side and the loose puck comes to Niedermayer again in front. But he shoots it over the crossbar. Opportunity missed for Anaheim.
4:06 - May gets drilled into the wall and he's hurt again. Looks like the same knee as he heads slowly to the bench. Not good, with the Ducks already missing Sutherby.
2:40 - Pronger turns it over, but Hiller bails him out with a save on Havlat's shot.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's a relatively uneventful one as the Ducks outshoot the Hawks 8-5 and neither team finds the net.
19:30 - Ryan gets a good look in front of the net, but fires it over everything.
17:15 - Bobby Ryan
is held back in front of the net and can hardly put his stick on the puck. No call.
15:20 - Weak effort to put a shot on Hiller by the Hawks on the power play. They only have three shots so far.
It's trivia time and the woman is asked how many times Teemu Selanne has recorded a five-point game in a Ducks uniform. Of the choices three, five or seven, she guesses five ... and she's ... right!
14:21 - ANA Penalty - Bret Hedican, 2 min. hooking.
There is a mysterious yellow stain on the ice inside the Ducks goal. Can't figure out what it is. Just how nervous is Jonas Hiller?
7:05 - Robbie Niedermayer makes a nice feed to Pahlsson on the rush, and Sammy's shot is kicked away.
We can see on the press box TVs Kent French and Kristi Yamaguchi getting ready for their interview when they come back from the break. She's kind of going back and forth on where to put her hair and she mentions something to Frenchie about it, as they both laugh. If she's trying to make a hair decision, he'd definitely be the guy to talk to about that.
6:05 - Patrick Sharp is alone for a one-timer in front, bug Hiller is in perfect position to make the stop.
Thank God Khabibulin is injured, not just because he's been playing well lately, but because I hate typing his name all game.
5:05 - Hedican lets one go from the point, but Huet swallows it.
3:30 - Sluggish start for both sides. Just one shot apiece. Must be the tryptophan. The crowd is pretty quiet as well.
There is a tangerine (a.k.a. a guy in an orange sweatshirt) sitting between the two tennis balls tonight.
1:45 - McIver takes a hard shot in front of the Chicago bench.
0:00 - And we're underway in this matinee at Honda Center.
1:08 p.m. - Bret Hedican is honored at Center Ice with his family (including Kristi) for playing in his 1,000th career game last week in St. Louis.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jonas Hiller
; CHI Cristobal Huet
Starting Skaters - ANA Scott Niedermayer, Kent Huskins, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen, Rob Niedermayer; CHI Cameron Barker, Brian Campbell, Jonathan Toews, Kris Versteeg, Patrick Kane
Scratches - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Brian Sutherby, Ryan Carter
; CHI Nikolai Khabibulin, Adam Burish