ANAHEIM – Two consecutive victories over Pacific Division rivals have made the Ducks’ recent losing streak seem like a distant memory.
Two nights after snapping their skid against the Coyotes in Phoenix, the Ducks rode Jonas Hiller’s first shutout of the season to a huge 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in front of a boisterous sellout crowd of 17,174 at Honda Center.
"We didn’t play too well the last few games at home, and we wanted to show we could play better," Hiller said. "Everybody played quite well tonight. If we play like that every night, we’ll always have a good chance."
Rookie Cam Fowler had the Ducks’ first goal and Jason Blake added third period insurance to give the Ducks back-to-back victories (following six straight losses) and vault them to within two points of the top spot in the division.
Fowler’s goal 12:48 into the second period gave the Ducks a one-goal cushion they held for awhile but nearly lost when Fowler turned the puck over behind the Anaheim net with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining. But Hiller brought the home crowd to its feet with an athletic glove save on an Anze Kopitar shot from point blank, clearly the best of his 27 stops on the night.
"He played outstanding and made some great, timely saves," Blake said. "In the first period, they came out with more energy and established their game plan. He bailed us out."
About a minute after that stop on Kopitar, the Ducks got on the rush, with Teemu Selanne feeding Blake on the left wing and Blake finishing with a wrist shot top shelf. "I just stepped on the ice and the puck came to me," Blake said. "We had some great opportunities in the second period and the third. I was just fortunate that it went in."
Selanne was playing his first game after missing the last three with a strained groin.
"That’s the type of game our hockey club has to play night in and night out," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "It was a good one for us. We had an effort from every member of our group. That is what is important.
"The true display was at the end of the game, when people that were on the ice were sacrificing their bodies to block shots and get into shooting lanes to protect that shutout for Jonas Hiller."
The only scoring by either team during a fast-paced opening 40 minutes came from the Ducks on the power play following Drew Doughty’s second tripping penalty, mere seconds after he left the box following the first one. Anaheim pounced on the ensuing power play quickly, as Fowler snapped a shot from the right wing circle that sailed through a Corey Perry screen, deflected off Jonathan Quick’s leg pad and hit the inside of the post. It was the second goal of the young career of Fowler, who turns 19 on Sunday.
The Ducks play three more home games in the next six nights, starting with Wednesday night against Florida.
"We found a way and didn’t back off," Hiller said. "We can be happy with this win and it’s something we can build on."
Tonight marked the first time the Ducks had shutout the Kings since Nov. 16, 2008 (2-0 Ducks win at Honda Center). The Ducks have shut out the Kings six times in the 97-game rivalry between the two clubs (fifth Ducks shutout at Honda Center vs. LA). There have been eight shutouts all-time between the two clubs (six Ducks, two Kings).
At home, the Ducks have gone 8-4-1 in 13 games this season, earning 17 of a possible 26 points.
The Ducks have scored a power play goal in six of the last seven games, going 6-for-26 during that span (23.1%).
Jonas Hiller recorded his seventh career shutout tonight (first of the season), stopping all 27 shots he faced. His last shutout took place on Feb. 1, 2010 at Florida (3-0 win).
Cam Fowler has extended his scoring streak to four games (1-4=5), including his second career NHL tonight. The goal marked his first career PPG and first career GWG. His 2-10=12 points on the season lead the NHL among rookie defensemen. Fowler also has 1-8=9 points in his last 10 contests.
Teemu Selanne collected his sixth multi-point game of the season (0-2=2 tonight). He has earned points in each of the last four games in which he has appeared (1-4=5). He also has 3-11=14 in his last 12 games and 8-15=23 points in his last 20.
Jason Blake has a two-game goal streak (2-0=2) and has collected 2-1=3 points in his last four contests.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks finish off an incredibly satisfying 2-0 victory over the Kings.
18:48 - Kings net empty out of the timeout.
18:48 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. holding. Perry is battling along wall with Johnson and gets a penalty that the Ducks bench doesn't like.
17:35 - ANAHEIM GOAL - JASON BLAKE - Seconds after Ryan barely misses on the rush, the Ducks get on another one, as Selanne feeds Blake from right wing to left wing and Blake flips a wrist shot top shelf to give Anaheim a HUGE 2-0 lead.
17:25 - Ryan does a great job to use the body to bring the puck with him down the ice, and just gets denied by Quick as he goes to the net.
16:41 - Fowler makes a nearly costly turnover behind the Ducks net, but Hiller lunges out to glove a Kopitar shot from point blank. Easily the save of the game and the crowd acknowledges it.
11:30 - Westgarth runs over Hiller yet again, then goes back for a little shove. No call.
10:33 - Hiller gets run for about the fourth time tonight during some chaos in front of the net.
7:50 - Hiller a nice stop on a Williams shot from the wing, as the puck is cleared the length of the ice for the third time on this power play.
6:47 - Getzlaf with a lenghty chat with two officials during the timeout, gesturing to something that happened at the other end from the Lydman penalty.
6:47 - ANA Penalty - Toni Lydman, 2 min. delay of game. Lydman fires over the glass.
6:20 - Bonino wraps a pass around to Sexton on the doorstep, and he misses the net with an open left half. Wow, bad break.
5:30 - Hiller stands strong as Brown crashes, then gets bowled over as a reward. No penalty.
3:35 - Hiller holds his ground on two Westgarth tries from in deep. He's 19 for 19 so far tonight.
1:30 - Fowler glides very quickly into the Kings zone, weaving through a couple of guys. Looked kind of like a guy who used to play here, a guy Fowler lives with.
0:45 - Perry has room in the slot off a Getzlaf feed, but can't work it past Quick. Loving this shot from the telecast. Fowler, by the way, turns 19 on Sunday.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A beauty of a 20 minutes for the Ducks, who get a Fowler goal to take a 1-0 lead.
16:22 - Huge kill by the Ducks, who got help from about three or four big Hiller stops.
14:22 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. interference. First minor on the home team.
13:55 - Hiller stretches out the leg pad to make a huge stop on Kopitar, who was trying a one-timer on the doorstep.
12:48 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - CAM FOWLER - The kiddo gets the second of his young career after walking to the top of the right wing circle and firing a wrist shot past a Perry screen, off Quick's leg pad, off the inside of the post and in. It's 1-0 Ducks and Fowler looks positively giddy.
12:41 - LAK Penalty - Drew Doughty, 2 min. tripping. Right back to the box for Doughty, who takes down Perry with the stick at center ice.
12:00 - Fowler creates a rebound around the net by throwing the puck in from the point, but Koivu can't quite get a stick on it as he goes spilling to the sheet.
10:33 - LAK Penalty - Drew Doughty, 2 min. tripping. Doughty commits the penalty during the flurry around the net. First minor of the game for either team.
10:30 - Koivu takes the puck away and keeps it in the zone, giving it to Selanne, who's looking to pass but settles for a backhander that Quick stops.
7:45 - Ducks narrowly miss getting on the board, as Quick is down and out of position, but Blake backhands it off the pipe.
6:34 - Another big kick stop for Hiller, this time on Brown.
4:30 - Selanne's one-timer from the low circle actually trickles behind Quick into the crease, but it's swept away by Drewiske.
2:13 - Hiller dives to thwart a wraparound bid by Clifford. Nicely done.
1:30 - Nice kick save by Hiller on a Stoll try from the circle.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - A lively first period ends scoreless, with the Ducks and Kings each getting off seven shots.
18:00 - Forgot to mention, but Visnovsky is in there after seeming like he was unlikely to play with back spasms.
Very lively atmosphere in here tonight. First goal, from either team, is going to be VERY loud.
16:05 - Selanne appears to show little ill effects from the groin strain that kept him out three games, as he glides in on left wing and has his bid poked away by Quick.
They play "Boo! ... Yeah!" during the timeout, with the video board alternating between a group of dudes in Ducks jerseys (Yeah!) and one guy in a Kings jersey (Boooo!). Also quite entertaining.
14:22 - Away from the play, Voros and Clifford get into it, trading several rights before Voros convinces Clifford to lose the helmet and they each throw some more. Quite a lengthy and entertaining bout.
13:15 - Sbisa gets his stick on a centering pass in front of the Anaheim net, then levels Dustin Brown into the wall. Absolutely loved that play.
12:15 - Hiller is in good position to take a Smyth one-timer in the chest.
12:02 - Williams looks like he's getting on a breakaway, but he's ruled offside, much to the pleasure of a majority of the crowd, and the chagrin of the others.
9:35 - Bonino gets active around the net, throwing a couple of passes that just miss their intended sticks.
Ducks goalie coach Pete Peeters sits by me pretty much every game and drops about six sticks of gum on me each time he arrives. Got to love him. Unless, he's sending me a message.
7:10 - Getzlaf beautifully picks off a pass in the Kings' end, but then can't decide whether to pass it or shoot it, and ultimately takes a backhand from a tough angle that gets saved.
Not that I want to harm my ratings, but don't forget to watch this game on KDOC if you can, to take part in the Mystery Duck sweepstakes.
1:45 - Ducks get a couple of chances in a row, as Blake is stopped on a net crash and then Selanne has a one-timer try off a Blake pass tipped away. Nice sequence though for Anaheim.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center. Should be a lively one tonight, with a nice mix of Ducks and Kings fans.
7:07 p.m. - Dawn Wright, who hasn't been here in quite some time, belts out another beauty of an anthem. Starters in bold/italics. Scratches crossed out.