ANAHEIM – Often overshadowed by the Ducks’ offensive outpouring during their recent winning ways has been the stellar play of goaltender Jonas Hiller. But on an afternoon when Anaheim scored just twice, Hiller came up big again in a 2-1 defeat of the Ottawa Senators in front of 15,500 at Honda Center.
Second period goals by Corey Perry and Lubomir Visnovsky were all the Ducks needed as they won their seventh game in the last eight and their fifth straight at home.
In beating the team they vanquished in the '07 Stanley Cup Final, the Ducks also snapped an 11-game road points streak for Ottawa.
"We knew if we played our game, we’d have a chance," Hiller said. "We played a really solid game. We can definitely be happy with the way we played tonight. If we play that way, we can pretty much beat anybody."
Hiller had 31 saves on the day, and now has a .945 save percentage and a 1.42 goal-against average in his last seven appearances. He helped the Ducks to their longest standings point streak since a nine-game streak from Oct. 21-Nov. 5, 2008.
"Everybody was sacrificing and guys were blocking shots," said Hiller. "That is the way you win. It’s a lot of fun to play like that."
After a scoreless first, the Ducks took a 2-0 in the middle session on a goal by Perry and a somewhat lucky one for Visnovsky.
At 6:15 of the second, right after a Ryan Getzlaf faceoff win, Bobby Ryan ran down the puck and sent it in front to Perry, who had no one near him as he lifted it in with the backhand for his 22nd of the year.
"Bobby, his play on every faceoff is to jump," said Getzlaf, who was 17 for 27 in the faceoff circle for the game. "That particular one, he jumped, beat his d-man and made a great play. We caught them cheating a little bit and it found the back of the net."
With three minutes left in the period, Visnovsky rocketed a shot from the right wing that was deflected into the air above Sens goalie Craig Anderson. Defenseman Erik Karlsson tried to knock it out of the air with his stick, but instead sent it off the back of Anderson’s left arm and into the net.
The Senators got within a goal 8:51 into the third, as Chris Neil followed up his own rebound off Hiller. But that was the last strike for Ottawa, which pulled Anderson with a minute and a half left, but didn’t threaten. Ryan Getzlaf blocked a shot with a few seconds remaining and pitchforked it to the other end of the ice as the clock wound down to the final horn.
"It’s what wins you championships, defense and goaltending," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "Offense will come. You’re not going to score five goals every night. To defend a team like that, when they are playing like that, it was pretty special I thought. It was a great game by both teams."
Veteran forward Mark Bell, recalled by the Ducks yesterday, played 4:45 in his first NHL appearance since April 2008.
The Ducks turn right around and face former goalie J.S. Giguere and the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow evening at Honda Center.
The Ducks have also won four consecutive games and outscored its opponent 17-5 in those four contests. In addition, Anaheim has outscored its opponents 33-14 during the current eight-game streak.
The Ducks have won five straight games at HOME, their longest such streak since Nov. 3-12, 2010 (5-0-0).
In Jonas Hiller's last five appearances, he has stopped 128-of-134 shots for a .955 SV% and a 1.19 GAA (6 GA/302 MIN) with one shutout on Jan. 13 at Edmonton.
Corey Perry scored four goals in the last four games (4-0=4) and has picked up 7-2=9 points with a +5 rating over the last eight games.
During the Ducks’ eight-game standings point streak, Bobby Ryan has earned 4-4=8 points with a +3 rating, including an assist this afternoon.
In the last 10 games, Saku Koivu has scored 4-7=11 points with a +9 rating. Koivu leads the club with a +13 rating on the season.
With an assist this afternoon, Lubomir Visnovsky has 1-2=3 points in the last two contests and 1-5=6 points with a +4 rating in the last seven.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks win it, 2-1
19:56 - Getzlaf blocks a shot and sends it out as the clock clicks down to the horn.
19:30 - Getzlaf jumps on a dump-in and sends it out.
18:59 - Ryan banks it off the wall, but well wide of the net as the Sens touch it up for icing. Faceoff in the Ducks end with 1:01 left. Timeout Ottawa.
18:30 - Sens empty the net.
18:18 - Sens go offside with 1:42 left.
16:57 - Nothing doing on that power play. Now the Ducks need to finish.
Another nice moment as a member of the military is honored during the timeout. Everyone stands, players tap their sticks and the soldier waves to the crowd.
14:57 - OTT Penalty - Erik Condra, 2 min. interference. Condra runs into Selanne, a big break for Anaheim. They get the power play with 5:03 left and clean ice after this timeout.
13:15 - Perry races into the zone and fires a slap shot that Anderson bats away.
11:30 - Perry finds Ryan fighting for position in front, but he can't quite tap it through.
10:40 - Hiller with the kick save, and the rebound is deflected over the cage.
8:51 - OTTAWA GOAL - CHRIS NEIL - Foligno fights off Brookbank for the puck behind the net, and feeds in front to Neil, who punches in his own rebound off Hiller for the first Ottawa goal. It's 2-1 Ducks.
Alfredsson getting booed by Ducks fans whenever he touches it. They remember the shot near the horn he took at Scott Niedermayer during the '07 Final.
6:40 - Ryan drills Condra, who already was without a helmet.
6:16 - The puck sits tantalizingly near the right post of the Anaheim net during a mad scramble, before it's finally frozen.
4:00 - Lydman with a shot through traffic that Anderson just does get with the pad.
3:06 - Hiller makes a stop to bail out a Sbisa giveaway.
1:00 - Selanne looks to have a sure goal off a Hagman feed, but pushes it under Anderson wide of the net. That's a miss you don't see too often from 8. That's like a shank with a 7-iron.
0:40 - Hiller a nice stop on Karlsson, and on the Spezza rebound try.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get one from Perry and a lucky one from Visnovsky to take a 2-0 lead.
19:40 - Hagman weaves his way in deep, but Anderson denies.
17:00 - ANAHEIM GOAL - LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY - Crazy goal, as Visnovsky fires a missile from the right wing that is deflected in the air above Anderson. Karlsson tries to bat it out of the air but accidentally sends it toward the net, where it hits the back of Anderson's left arm and goes in the net. Ducks will take it, 2-0.
16:00 - Ryan makes a great move to cut around Karlsson to the net, but Anderson forces him to shoot it wide.
The woman who wouldn't kiss the dude during Kiss Cam in the first period is shown on Honda Vision during the timeout. She gets booed again.
14:30 - Senators blocking a lot of shots today. Ducks have taken three from outside the blue line.
13:37 - Hiller gloves a Condra try. He's sharp.
13:00 - Hagman gets in deep and lays it off to Selanne, who backhands it wide.
12:25 - Not a strong power play for Anaheim.
12:00 - Second unit was out there first. Here somes Selanne, Perry and Getzlaf.
It's t-shirt night, and I'd say about 65 percent of the fans have put them on already over their clothes. They're orange, so easy to spot.
10:25 - OTT Penalty - Milan Michalek, 2 min. closing the hand on the puck. After Perry's bad-angle shot flutters in the air, Michalek catches and never lets go, even after being drilled into the net by Ryan. Ducks go on the power play after the timeout.
9:45 - Ryan goes flying off a hit from Cowen following a dump-in.
8:27 - Alfredsson's shot gets stuck in Hiller's leg pad, as Condra tries to bat away at something he can't see.
6:15 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Right off the Getzlaf-won draw, Ryan chases the puck in the corner and sends it in front to a wide open Perry, who lifts it tops shelf. Somebody missed an assignment there, and the Ducks made them pay. It's 1-0.
5:50 - A little mayhem in front of the net after Hiller saves a Smith shot, but the Ducks get out of it.
3:40 - Perry slides out from behind the net and has Anderson down, but he pokes the puck away. Good play.
3:15 - Perry sneaks into the bottom of the circle, but his shot is deflected over the net.
1:17 - Hiller puts a stop to a bad defensive sequence for Anaheim with a save on Gonchar.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks outshoot Sens, 10-9, but we have no score.
19:50 - Now Sbisa takes a shot from Neil.
16:36 - Ice leaning heavily in Ottawa's direction, but Hiller stands tall.
Kiss Cam reminds us there's a fine line between a cute little smooch between a couple and uncomfortable making out. And this one ends with a woman completely clueless she's supposed to kiss the guy next to her. He's trying. I'm not entirely sure they're together. Looked like a mismatch to me.
13:56 - HIller gloves another Alfredsson try just as Lydman is released from the box. Second straight kill for Anaheim.
13:26 - Hiller saves and holds an Alfredsson one-timer. That reminded me a little of a certain goalie in '07.
13:06 - Hiller makes a big stop and hold on Karlsson as the Ducks are running around a bit.
11:53 - ANA Penalty - Toni Lydman, 2 min. roughing. Sorry about that from earlier I thought they called too many men. Never saw the roughing.
11:20 - Parros takes a hard hit from Neil, and Parros skates after him, but Neil wants no more.
9:05 - Condra weaves his way around Beauchemin, and gets on top of Hiller, but he's denied. First shot of the game for Ottawa.
8:47 - Fowler's wrister from the point rattles around in front of Anderson as Ducks go flying, but he's able to smother it.
7:37 - Perry tries to tap in a mid-air feed from Selanne, but Anderson gloves it, and hangs on as Perry swats away.
7:06 - OTT Penalty - Zack Smith, 2 min. holding.
6:46 - Blake tries a slap shot from outside the blue line that Anderson gloves and holds. Timeout.
4:00 - Bell on the ice for the first time since April '08, wearing Drew Miller's old 18.
3:02 - And he's back. They don't come much tougher than Beauch.
2:48 - Beauchemin takes a shot off the foot, but he's okay enough to shove Michalek a couple of times as Hiller covers. Unfortunately, he's off to the locker room after the whistle.
2:20 - Kuba with a one-timer that Hiller deflects out of trouble.
1:21 - ANA Penalty - Saki Koivu, 2 min. hooking. Koivu gets the stick into Foligno's midsection.
0:30 - Beauchemin with an early rocket, wide of the net. He just signed a three-year extension yesterday.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
1:07 p.m. - Dawn Wright belts out both the Canadian and American anthems as the TV screens in the press box show highlights from the '07 Stanley Cup Final series between these two teams. Those were the days.
Blake (lower body) in, and Beleskey (hand) out. Bell will play his first game since April of 2008. Starters in bold/italics.