By Adam Brady (email@example.com)
ANAHEIM – One day after Jean-Sebastien Giguere was named an All-Star starter for the first time in his career, it was the Ducks’ other goalie who shined on the ice.
Jonas Hiller made 29 stops in earning his third shutout of the season, leading the Ducks to a 2-0 victory over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes and snapping a three-game losing streak at Honda Center.
|Hiller was outstanding all night, saving 29 in his third shutout of the year.
Hiller was incredibly solid the entire night, notably during a four-minute Phoenix power play near the end of the second period. And he stopped all eleven Coyotes shots in the third period, boosting Anaheim’s record to 14-0-0 when leading after two periods.
"For me, it’s important to play as much as possible because I think for a goalie, experience is a big part in this game," said Hiller, making his first apperance since a Dec. 28 win in St. Louis. "I just try to do my best every game I can play. It’s great that it worked out that well. I’m happy for me and happy for the team to get those two points because they were really important today."
The Ducks and Coyotes skated scoreless for the game’s first 23 minutes until Chris Pronger broke through with a power play goal 3:32 into the second. Scott Niedermayer picked up a loose puck in front of the Phoenix net, circled behind it and sent a pass to Pronger in the right wing circle. His quick wrist shot squirted under goalie Ily Bryzgalov and over the stripe, prompting Pronger to fire his trademark uppercut to the rafters.
Bryzgalov, the former Duck who was let go on waivers a year ago, came into the game with a 4-1-0 record, a 2.05 goals-against average and a stellar .943 save percentage.
|Pronger put the Ducks on top for good with a power play goal in the second.
Phoenix had a huge opportunity to tie the game when Brendan Mikkelson took a double minor for high sticking Daniel Carcillo with 5:03 left in the second. But the Ducks killed the entire four-minute penalty, despite Rob Niedermayer spending a good portion of it without a stick after Brett Festerling broke his and Niedermayer gave his up to him. The hero of the penalty kill was Jonas Hiller, who stopped all eight Phoenix shots during the stretch, including a couple of acrobatic saves.
"It was tough, especially because I already thought I wasn’t going to get a lot of shots that period because I had one shot until then," Hiller said. "They were in our zone for four minutes. It was hard on the legs. They moved the puck around pretty well. I think everybody battled through."
Added Ducks forward Bobby Ryan, "The penalty kill had to do it again tonight. It was nice for us to reward them for all they’ve done lately and put a few home."
Ryan did just that, giving the Ducks a little more comfort room when he did an impression of injured Teemu Selanne and scored a power play goal from the low left wing circle 2:59 into the third. Scott Niedermayer fed the puck to Ryan from the slot, and the rookie slung it inside the near post for his seventh goal of the season.
"They cleared the puck, so it was a half breakout, half neutral zone regroup," Ryan said. "Getzy showed his poise again, carrying the puck all the way down the half wall and hitting Scotty. I think Scotty had too much to look at and found me off the side virtually all alone. That’s a tough for a goalie to make to get all the way back and across. It was easy for me to slide it home."
Phoenix came into the game tied with the Ducks for the sixth spot in the Western Conference and second in the Pacific Division. Despite stretches of dominance in recent years over the Coyotes, it was the first time the Ducks shut them out since Dec. 22, 2002 at Honda Center. The Ducks improved to 12-3-1 all time at home against the Coyotes.
"Tonight was our best team effort that we’ve had," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. " For us, I think the difference in the game was our specialty teams. We got two power play goals and they went o-fer on their power play, so our penalty killers and our power play guys stood up."
It was just the second victory in the last seven for Anaheim, which returns to Honda Center for a date with another division rival, the Kings, on Tuesday night.
Todd Marchant was honored before the contest for playing in his 1,000th NHL game.
The Ducks have garnered standings points in four of their last five games (2-1-2) and have earned points in nine of their last 12 contests (7-3-2) at Honda Center.
Anaheim has scored two power play goals in three of the last four games, going six-for-17 (35.3%) overall. The club has gone nine-for-25 on the power play (36.0%) dating back to Dec. 22 at Vancouver.
Ryan Getzlaf has earned 2-7=9 points in the last eight games, including 1-2=3 in the last two contests. At HOME, he has earned points in 10 of the last 12 games (7-7=14).
Scott Niedermayer has collected points in three of the last four games (1-3=4) including in two straight (0-2=2).
With a power play goal tonight, Chris Pronger has earned points in four of the last five games (1-3=4) including in two straight (1-1=2).
Bobby Ryan has earned points in seven of the last eight games (3-8=11), including 1-2=3 points in the last two games.
Tonight marked Jonas Hiller’s third career shutout (all this season), stopping all 29 shots he faced. In his last six appearances (3-3-0), Hiller has stopped 180-of-193 shots with a .933 SV % and 2.16 GAA (13 GA/361 MIN).
Tonight’s attendance is 16,878.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Hiller is the star as he earns his third shutout with 29 stops. The Ducks snap a three-game home losing streak with the 2-0 victory.
19:58 - Moen shoots it just wide right at the empty net.
19:40 - Hiller makes what could be his last stop of the game in what has been a fine performance.
18:54 - Robbie tries to send a backhand to the empty net from mid-ice, but it's picked off by a Coyotes d-man.
17:50 - Bryz has got to be heading to the bench soon. Let's see Todd Marchant
get the empty-nettah.
16:02 - Kunitz knocks the puck away and off the wall, setting himself up with room alone on the rush. He charges in, but Bryz makes a nice stop on the shot.
14:20 - Miller gets a chance, but his shot from point blank range is barely saved by the mad Russian.
Poor Brendan Morrison. He's got to be looking at Drew Miller to his left and Andrew Ebbett to his right and thinking, Who the hell ARE these guys?
11:00 - Bobby Ryan
does a little jawing and a quick shove to Ed Jovanovski before they skate their separate ways. Bobby's getting a little feisty tonight.
During the timeout, two Power Players dance next to a 10-year-old boy who gives the camera a thumbs-up. Please tell me somebody got a picture of that for that kid.
8:39 - Hiller makes a gorgeous glove save on a shot ripped from the point through traffic. He's nice.
2:59 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BOBBY RYAN - Ryan does a dead-on impression of Teemu Selanne (without the accent), taking a Scott Niedermayer feed in the bottom of the left wing circle and slinging it past Bryzgalov inside the near post. The crowd erupts as the Ducks take a 2-0 lead. Two assists by Scotty Nieds tonight, both leading directly to power play goals.
2:37 - PHX Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Okay, guys. Enough already with the too many men.
2:37 - Boedker gets behind the defense and heads into Hiller, but he makes the pad stop.
0:00 - Off an running in the third, where the Ducks are 13-0-0 when entering with a lead. Phoenix, on the other hand, is 2-12-4 when trailing entering the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's a heck of a stanza for the Ducks, as they get a goal from Pronger and kill a lengthy penalty to keep Phoenix off the board. Hiller has been phenomenal.
18:57 - The Mikkelson penalty expires. Huge kill for Anaheim.
18:50 - Chants of "Hiller! ... Hiller!" I like it.
18:30 - The Coyotes ice it, giving Hiller some time to rest, and he's caught on the video board taking a huge breath with his tongue out.
18:20 - Jonasty continues to be a hero on this kill.
17:50 - Finally the Ducks send it the length of the ice, as all four penalty killers get the hell out of there.
17:15 - Hiller makes a beauty of a kick save. But the Ducks can't seem to clear the puck to get Robbie out of there.
16:15 - Brett Festerling
's stick broke in half and Rob Niedermayer lent him his. Robbie's out there stick-free right now.
14:57 - ANA Penalty - Brendan Mikkelson
, 4 min. (double minor) high sticking. Mikkelson gets checked and when he falls back, his stick gets Carcillo in the face, drawing blood. The crowd? Not happy.
12:20 - Getzlaf gets in deep on the rush, protects the puck and fires a backhander that is saved by the post. Tough break.
Not a ton of energy in this joint right now.
7:52 - Robbie Niedermayer puts the puck on net and it bounces off Bryz and behind him. He doesn't know where it is, but the Ducks can't pounce on it.
6:40 - Great pass from the point from Scott Niedermayer to Getzlaf, but his shot is stopped by the mighty Russian.
5:10 - PHX Penalty - Viktor Tikhonov, 2 min. elbowing. And the biggest surprise? The ref's mic actually worked when he announced it to the crowd.
4:45 - The Ducks are outshooting the Yotes, 17-8.
3:32 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - CHRIS PRONGER - Scott Niedermayer picks up the loose puck in front of the net, circles around the back of it and feeds Chris Pronger in the right wing circle. Pronger flips a shot on net that gets through Bryzgalov, and Pronger throws an uppercut to the sky. Ducks take a 1-0 lead.
2:35 - PHX Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice.
1:58 - Bobby Ryan
puts Martin Hanzal into the wall. Hanzal, he's so hot right now.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A nice first period, but nothing on the board for either team.
19:40 - On the ice for the Ducks are Mikkelson, Drew Miller and Andrew Ebbett. When did the preseason start?
19:35 - Mikkelson fires a shot through traffic that Bryz never sees, but it clangs off the far post.
The Text Ducks to 81812 campaign was a great thing, including the Power Players t-shirts, but I sure am glad to see the old unis back. Is that creepy?
It's trivia time and the dude is asked what the Coyotes were known as before moving to Phoenix. He guesses 3) Winnipeg Jets and he is ... RIGHT!
16:22 - Ebbett nearly gets a goal two different times, first redirecting a Drew Miller feed, and then trying to punch in the rebound. But Bryz flops to make the save.
14:50 - Another big save from Jonasty, on a rocket of a slap shot from Olli Jokinen.
The male tennis ball is wearing something over his flourescent hoodie. Looks like a jersey. How dare he.
13:31 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. delay of game. Pronger sends the puck into the seats. The penalties continue for the Ducks, who were lucky not to give up the game-winner in the third period Friday night after that march to the box.
12:28 - Great save by Hiller on a redirect try by Kevin Porter.
How did the jingle writer not get laughed out of the office when he presented this song to the Ruby's people?:
Shooby dooby down to Ruby's where the food is great
Shooby dooby down to Ruby's with your favorite date
Shooby dooby down to Ruby's and don't be late
Shooby dooby down to Ruby's yeah, yeah!
12:07 - ANA Penalty - Steve Montador, 2 min. hooking.
Would it be out of line to do another "Thank you, Bryz" tribute on the video board? Last time we did that, in his first game back here after he left, he got teary-eyed and the Ducks scored a goal within minutes.
7:49 - Bobby Ryan
goes to a knee to fire a one-timer from the low-circle spot once owned by Teemu Selanne
. Bryz saves.
6:27 - PHX Penalty - Ed Jovanovski, 2 min. tripping. Robbie Niedermayer is playing his butt off. He blocks a shot, and when it bounces toward the Phoenix zone, he beats Jovanovski to it, drawing the tripping call.
4:40 - Mikkel Boedker looks like he's hooking Bobby Ryan
down the ice, no call. Still no call as Boedker can't seem to get his stick dislodged from Ryan after Bobby goes down to the ice.
2:40 - Twice Rob Niedermayer has shots at his 10th goal, but he's denied by IIya Bryzgalov. And as long as we're talking about Bryz, here you go
0:10 - Bobby Ryan
is on the top line with Getzlaf and Kunitz, with Perry suspended four games.
0:00 - We're underway at Honda Center. I'm expecting more readers than normal tonight since this game isn't televised by either team.
5:08 p.m. - Todd Marchant is honored for playing in his 1,000th game, with his family out at center ice. They give him a special commemorative stick and a portrait that's showing him raising the Stanley Cup, with an image in the background showing him during his Edmonton Oilers days. The unveiling of the painting gets a nice reaction from the crowd.
5:07 p.m. - A fantastic rendition of the anthem from yet another newcomer, 15-year-old Gabriel Trainor.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jonas Hiller
; PHX Ilya Bryzgalov
Starting Skaters - ANA Chris Pronger, Brendan Mikkelson
, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Getzlaf
, Bobby Ryan
; PHX Derek Morris, Ed Jovanovski, Olli Jokinen, Enver Lisin, Mikkel Boedker
Scratches - ANA Nathan McIver, Corey Perry
(suspended), Brad May; PHX Keith Yandle, Kyle Turris