ANAHEIM – On their way to a big victory for the Ducks over the defending Stanley Cup champions, no one came up bigger than Jonas Hiller.
The Ducks netminder had 39 saves – including two huge ones in the third period – to help the Ducks hang on for a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks in front of 16,004 at Honda Center. "He made some highlight reel stops and really saved our butts," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "What else can you say?"
Hiller twice made lunging glove saves with the Ducks clinging to the lead in the third period and allowing Chicago an 19-2 shots advantage. The last one coming with about a minute and a half left in the game and the Blackhawks threatening to tie it. Hawks winger Viktor Stalberg tried to punch a rebound into an open net, a shot that Dave Bolland redirected with a deflection, and Hiller flew across the crease to knock it over the net with the glove.
Earlier, with about 12 minutes left in the game, Hiller made another highlight-reel stop, as Chicago winger Jack Skille tried to flip the puck in from near the left post, but Hiller somehow managed to glove it while sprawled on his back (to Skille’s obvious chagrin). A video review review upheld the call on the ice of no goal.
"I feel pretty comfortable with the way I am playing," Hiller said, his shaggy hair going in many different directions in the Ducks locker room. " I knew I had to play a little better to give the team a chance to win. That is what I’m trying to do. But I also think everybody stepped it up."
Said defenseman Toni Lydman, "He was like a wall tonight. Hillsy was the final frontier there and stopped everything."
Ironically, the only goal Hiller gave up on the night came off his own stick with 1:52 left in the first and the Blackhawks on the power play. Hiller dove to make a stick save on Bryan Bickell from point blank, but knocked the puck into his own net with that same stick.
"I tried not to think about it too much," Hiller said, "and kept going."
Corey Perry scored his team-leading 21st (tied for third in the NHL) to put the Ducks up a goal early in the second period. After Matt Beleskey snuck behind Duncan Keith to take a stretch pass from Lydman, he hit Perry for the quick wrist shot from the right wing that connected on the far side.
Both teams were playing without their captains, as Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf missed his second game with nasal fractures and Chicago's Jonathan Toews missed his second straight with an injured shoulder.
Ducks winger Jason Blake left the game in the first period after taking a check behind the Chicago net and suffering a shoulder injury. He did not return and is listed as day to day.
In winning their third straight, the Ducks avenged a 4-1 defeat to the Hawks on the day after Thanksgiving at Honda Center.
"Guys were blocking shots and blocking guys out again," Hiller said. "We need a contribution from everybody. At the end, you win as a team and lose a team. We’re playing as a team right now and that is why we are winning."
The Ducks have won three straight games and gone 8-4-1 overall in the last 13 contests.
The Ducks have improved their record at home this season to 13-6-1, earning 27 of a possible 40 points. Anaheim has also posted a 6-2-0 record at Honda Center over the last eight contests.
At Honda Center, the Ducks have gone 9-2-1 vs. Chicago since the start of the 2005-06 season. The club has also posted a 19-3-3 record against the Blackhawks at HOME dating back to Feb. 1, 1998. Overall, Anaheim has gone 15-5-3 in 23 games vs. Chicago since the start of the 2005-06 season.
Jonas Hiller has won three straight games, stopping 105-of-109 shots for a .963 SV% and 1.33 GAA (4 GA/180 MIN). Over the last 13 contests, he has gone 10-3-1 with a 1.79 GAA (21 GA/703 MIN) and .948 SV% (384-of-405). Hiller has allowed two-or-fewer goals in nine of his last 10 starts (8-2-0 in that span) and one-or-fewer goals in four of those 10.
Corey Perry has points in three straight games (2-1=3), 5-3=8 points in the last seven contests, 9-7=16 points over the last 12 and 11-10=21 points in the last 18. His 21 goals on the season rank tied for third in the NHL (also CHI’s Patrick Sharp).
Joffrey Lupul has a three-game point streak (1-2=3) and 3-3=6 points over the last nine games.
Brandon McMillan has a career-high three-game point streak (0-3=3). In addition, McMillan has 1-4=5 points over the last six contests.
Toni Lydman has 0-3=3 assists over the last two games, 0-4=4 over the last four and 0-7=7 in the last 11.
Andreas Lilja's most recent goal before tonight took place on Mar. 30, 2010 with Detroit vs. Edmonton.
Tonight marked Teemu Selanne’s sixth career penalty shot attempt (no goal vs. Crawford). He is 1-for-6 all-time in penalty shot attempts.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks hang on for a 2-1 victory.
19:58 - A little bit of scariness in front of the Anaheim net, but Marchant sends it out of the zone with a couple seconds left.
19:20 - Crowd on their feet for a faceoff in the neutral zone with 39.2 left and the Chicago net empty.
19:00 - Crawford to the bench.
18:30 - Hiller with another huge glove stop, as Stalberg tries to punch it into the open net and Hiller dives to deflect it away.
17:30 - Keith goes down to block a shot by Selanne on a 2-on-1 rush, then cross-checks Selanne in the head. Somehow there is no call and Selanne exchanges shoves with Keith as the puck goes the other way.
12:17 - Stalberg goes slamming into Hiller and knocks him and the goal down, then Stalberg objects to the way Sutton approached him afterward with a little kick to the ribs, throwing a shot to the face. No penalties.
10:06 - Another nice stop by Hiller on a heavy wrist shot by Bickell from the slot. Hiller's the player of the game so far tonight.
8:11 - Hiller makes the save of the game, as Skille tries to bang in a rebound from right by the left post, but Hiller somehow gloves it while on his back. Skille can't believe it. Absolutely monster save. It's reviewed to see if Hiller's glove ended up over the stripe with the puck in it, and the call on the ice stands -- NO GOAL. Big roar from the crowd.
4:48 - Ryan comes close again, on a one-timer off a nice Perry feed from behind the net, but Crawford holds it just before getting knocked down by Ryan.
4:40 - Ryan with the nice double toe drag, but his shot is blocked.
4:03 - Selanne skates in hard, fakes a shot and wrists it high. Not sure if it hit Crawford.
4:03 - After a Hawks giveaway, Koivu nicely taps the puck ahead to a sprinting Selanne, who is tripped from behind by Kane, and Selanne is awarded a penalty shot.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, Chicago on the PP.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks get a goal from (who else?) Perry to go up 2-1, but the Hawks will have power play time when we come back.
19:39 - ANA Penalty - Andrea Lilja, 2 min. cross checking.
"Sussudio" by Phil Collins during the break in the action. That's a change of pace.
19:00 - Selanne has no one to beat but Crawford off a nice McMillan pass, but Seabrook steals it from behind before he can shoot. Great play.
18:05 - Bickel looks for No. 2 from the right wing, but Hiller makes a nice stop with the mitt.
Technical difficulties on the puck shuffle game on the Honda Vision, but it's expertly restarted with no hesitation. For the record, I got it right. It was in box 3.
13:50 - CHI Penalty - Tomas Kopecky, 2 min. interference. Kopecky knocks down Sbisa away from the puck in front of the Anaheim net. Bad, bad penalty, as the Hawks were holding the puck in against a tired Ducks unit.
FYI, green won the car race on the Honda Vision during the timeout.
11:10 - Nice give and go between the two Finns, but Selanne's shot is saved.
8:00 - I take that back about Blake. He's being evaluated in the Ducks locker room and is questionable to return.
6:39 - CHI Penalty - Patrick Sharp, 2 min. holding. Sharp takes down Koivu. Here we go.
6:20 - Ryan somehow gets off a wrister from the high slot with two guys around him. Not sure how we snuck that through.
3:00 - Blake back on the bench.
2:21 - Selanne fights his way into a partial breakaway as he gets around Seabrook, but backhands into Crawford.
2:11 - While trying to defend in front, Sutton gets Hiller in the mask with his stick. Hiller is a little shaken up, checking for blood and getting looked at by trainer Tim Clark, but he's okay.
1:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Beleskey sneaks behind Duncan Keith to take a headman pass from Lydman, then hits Perry on the right wing. Perry skates in and fires a quick wrister that beats Crawford on the stick side. It's 2-1 Ducks on Perry's team-leading 21st.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks get one from Lilja, but give one up on the power play and it's 1-1 after 1.
19:55 - Ducks putting the pressure on the Chicago net with seconds to go.
18:08 - CHICAGO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BRYAN BICKELL - After Hiller makes a stop on a Bolland shot, he makes another huge stop temporarily after Cambell feeds Bickell for a shot at an open net. He dives to makes a stick save on Bickell, but then knocks the puck into his net with the stick. Bad break after what was a mammoth stop by Hiller. Seconds earlier, Ducks come within inches of clearing the puck over the line before it's held in, and it ends up costing them. It's 1-1.
16:00 - ANA Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Ducks get a little crossed up on a change, and with the puck by their bench, it was obvious.
13:45 - By the way, no small feat that 19-year-old Cam Fowler is quarterbacking the first PP unit for the Ducks.
13:35 - Selanne a shot from Hjalmarsson's legs, but unfortunately not through Crawford's.
12:31 - CHI Penalty - Dave Bolland, 2 min. holding. Perry just misses on a one-timer from the circle during the delayed whistle.
12:00 - Ducks all over the Hawks net still.
10:32 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ANDREAS LILJA - Lilja takes the puck from Lupul at the point, fakes a shot and then fires through Chipchura and McMillan screens to sneak it past Crawford. First as a Duck for Lilja and it's 1-0 Anaheim.
10:20 - Nice pass from Chipchura to Lupul, who fires wide and isn't happy about it.
7:30 - Blake not on the bench right now.
4:00 - McMillan with a nice little pass to Lupul from the slot to the low left circle off a rebound, but Lupul's shot is stopped by Crawford.
2:50 - Blake looks a little shaken up after getting hit behind the Chicago net.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
5:07 p.m. - Awesome job on the anthem by tiny 10-year-old Eve De Vault, who took it up a few octaves on "free-EEEEEE." Got mini chills there as the crowd roared for her.
New Ducks acquisition Maxim Lapierre is out because his work visa has not arrived yet. Starters in bold/italics. Scratches crossed out.