ANAHEIM – On a night when the Ducks were looking for revenge over their franchise’s iconic former goalie, it was their current one who stole the show.
Jonas Hiller had 43 saves as the Ducks hung on to beat J.S. Giguere and the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at Honda Center. Bobby Ryan had two breakaway goals to help the Ducks to a fifth straight victory and the eighth in their last nine. It also avenged a 4-2 loss to Giguere and the Avs on New Year’s Eve, since which the Ducks have gone 8-1-1.
"I’m happy about the win, even though it wasn’t our best game and it wasn’t pretty.," Hiller said. "We found a way. We’ll take those two points. Everybody knows we can play better. We didn’t let up even though they scored two goals there really quick. Everybody did their job."
But despite the fact the Ducks led by three goals late into the third period, they had to hold on by the skin of their teeth on a night they were outshot 45-18.
Ryan's two goals and a Ryan Getzlaf power play strike pushed the Ducks into a seemingly comfortable lead, but Colorado made a late charge. That started with a Ryan O’Reilly goal off a bad Cam Fowler giveaway behind the net with 5:09 left in the game. Then, seconds after Giguere denied Ryan on his third breakaway of the night, Milan Hejduk tucked in a rebound off a Gabriel Landeskog one-timer on the power play to make it 3-2.
But the Ducks held their ground from that point to the final horn, including the final 1:30 when the Avs sent Giguere to the bench for an extra attacker.
"I think you worry for a second, but you realize there is a bigger task at hand," Ryan said. "We still had the lead and three and half to play. Not a whole lot changed. The urgency was there. A couple unfortunate bounces turned into goals. We all realized there were two points we needed to get and we didn’t want to let one slip away, so we just kept moving."
"I wish it wouldn’t have been that tight of a game," Hiller said. "You never want to get scored on. I wasn’t thinking too much. I just didn’t want to get scored on again. Everybody suddenly realized that we had to step it up again. I was really impressed how we did. I thought we had one of our best shifts the whole game right after they scored their second goal."
Anaheim was outshot 28-10 through two periods, but still led 1-0 on Ryan's first goal of the evening. With the Ducks on the penalty kill early in the game, Ryan picked off the puck at the Colorado blue line and headed in alone, snapping a quick wrister under Giguere. It was the second shorthanded goal of the season for Ryan and the third of the year for the Ducks.
Getzlaf was a major reason the Ducks extended that lead to 3-0 in the third. Early in the period, with Anaheim on the power play following a Colorado penalty late in the second, Teemu Selanne cruised around the back of the net and fed Getzlaf in front for the one-timer. Giguere, who had dived toward Selanne, appeared stop the puck, but Getzlaf raised his arms in the air thinking it was a goal. It was waved off on the ice, but replay review determined the puck just did trickle over the stripe.
A few minutes later, Getzlaf made a beautiful stretch pass from the back corner of the rink to Ryan waiting at the Colorado blue line. That set Ryan off on another breakaway, where he whipped a shot that beat Giguere high glove.
"He was just kind of waiting," Ryan said. "He realizes that is one of my favorite places to shoot. I just tried to make a quick move and get it up because I know he drops his glove. I tried to be patient with it. I got lucky that I put it where I wanted it."
It was a sixth straight home win for the Ducks, who now head to Dallas for a Tuesday match with the Stars.
"It was a tough game," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "Colorado played pretty hard. We were doing our best imitation of Muhammed Ali tonight.
"We’ve been on the other end of this. We’ve played games where you’ve deserved to win. Our goalie was great and we took advantage of the opportunities that we got. I’m not going to give the two points back."
The Ducks have extended their standings point streak to a league-tying nine games (8-0-1). St. Louis has an equal record of 8-0-1 in the last nine contests. It is Anaheim’s longest standings point streak since a nine-game streak from Oct. 21-Nov. 5, 2008 (8-0-1). The club has outscored its opponents 36-16 during the nine-game streak.
In January, the Ducks have posted an 8-1-1 record, tied for the most points in the NHL (17, also St. Louis) and second-highest win percentage (.850) this month. In addition, the club’s 3.70 goals-per-game output in January ranks second in the NHL (Boston has averaged 3.82 goals-per-game over 11 contests).
The club has also won five consecutive games, its longest win streak since Nov. 3-12, 2010 (six-game streak).
The Ducks have won six straight games at HOME, the second-longest current streak in the NHL (Detroit has 16 straight wins at home). The six-game streak is Anaheim’s longest at HOME since a franchise-record 11-game streak from Dec. 8, 2009 – Feb. 10, 2010.
Over the last five contests, the Ducks have gone 5-for-13 on the power play (38.5% success rate).
Jonas Hiller won his fifth straight game this afternoon, stopping 43-of-45 shots. The 43 saves matches his season high (also Dec. 2 vs. Philadelphia). In his last eight appearances (6-0-1, one ND), Hiller has stopped 197-of-208 shots for a .947 SV% and a 1.50 GAA (11 GA/441 MIN). In his last six appearances (5-0-1), he has stopped 171-of-179 shots for a .955 SV% and a 1.33 GAA (8 GA/362 MIN) with one shutout on Jan. 13 at Edmonton.
Bobby Ryan scored his second shorthanded goal of the season and third of his career as part of a two-goal game tonight (2-0=2). It was his fifth multi-goal game of the season. He has scored 6-4=10 points with a +4 rating over the last nine contests.
Teemu Selanne grabbed sole possession of 44th in all-time assists (733, passing Rod Brind’Amour) with one helper tonight (652-733=1,385 career). He is now just one assist shy of matching Bernie Nicholls at 43rd in all-time assists and six points shy of sharing 21st in all-time points with Brett Hull (1,391). Selanne has collected 4-5=9 points with a +7 rating over the last nine games.
With an assist tonight, Lubomir Visnovsky has 1-3=4 points in the last three contests and 1-6=7 points with a +5 rating in the last eight games.
With 1-1=2 points tonight, Ryan Getzlaf has put up 2-7=9 points in the last nine contests (+4 in those games).
Tonight’s attendance was 14,004.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Desperation Avs shot is blocked and the Ducks hold on to win it.
19:56 - Getzlaf slings the puck from behind his own net to the other end, and it misses wide as the Avs touch it up for icing with 3.7 left.
19:11 - Timeout Colorado with 48.5 left.
18:30 - Giguere to the bench.
17:45 - Selanne knocks down the puck, Blake slaps it on net, but Giguere saves.
16:28 - COLORADO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MILAN HEJDUK - Hiller knocks down, but can't grab, a Landeskog one-timer, which trickles near the left post, and Hejduk picks it up and tucks it in. It's scary time now, 3-2 Ducks.
15:25 - Ryan picks off a pass at the blue line and heads on another breakaway looking for the hat trick. But Giguere forces Ryan to move to the forehand, where Giguere makes a beauty of a kick save on him.
14:51 - COLORADO GOAL - RYAN O'REILLY - Fowler makes a bad giveaway behind the net, sending it off the end boards to the right post, where O'Reilly chips it past a surprised Hiller. It's 3-1 Ducks.
14:46 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. hooking. Getzlaf gets Winnik in a chase to the corner.
14:06 - COL Penalty - David Jones, 2 min. hooking. Jones hooks Sbisa from behind.
13:35 - Seconds after escaping the box, Parros falls down with nowhere near him, but recovers to force the puck to the other end. Crowd likes it.
12:20 - Galiardi has a chance for a rebound goal, but whiffs on the one-time try.
11:00 - ANA Penalty - George Parros, 2 min. roughing and Mark Bell, 5 min. fighting and COL Penalty - Cody McLeod, 5 min. fighting. Following a little scuffle after the whistle, Bell get into a half-hearted fight with McLeod, and he's tackled to the ice by McLeod. Second game back for Bell after not playing in the NHL since April 2008.
10:55 - Parros takes a shot into the wall from Johnson, and gives it back to him a little with a shove to the head.
9:35 - Visnovsky fakes the shot, feeds Hagman, who one-times wide.
8:41 - Equipment issue has Giguere over on the Avs bench for a bit. Little delay.
8:40 - Hiller gobbles up a bouncing puck for his 33rd of the night.
3:56 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - Getzlaf's sick pass from his own corner hits Ryan at the Colorado blue line, sending him on his second breakaway of the night. He gets between the circles before whipping a shot that beats Giguere high glove. It's 3-0 Ducks.
0:20 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Selanne cruises around the back of the net and feeds Getzlaf, who is seemingly robbed on a diving save by Giguere. Getzlaf puts his arms in the air as if he thinks he has a goal, but it's waved off on the ice. During the review, the overhead shot shows the puck in between Giguere's stick handle and the back side of the stripe. Referee Justin St. Pierre actually says the name "Getzlaf" in announcing that it's a goal. The Ducks lead it 2-0.
0:00 - Ducks start the third with 91 seconds of power play time. It's Selanne, Getzlaf, Perry, Visnovsky and Fowler to start.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Neither team finds the net, but the Ducks will have 1:31 of power play time when we come back.
19:30 - COL Penalty - Shane O'Brien, 2 min. delay of game. Just inside his own blue line, O'Brien slaps it over the glass. Good: Ducks power play. Bad: Fan got hit with the puck and has to leave.
18:30 - Avs continue to control play, but still haven't found the net. Outshooting Ducks 28-10.
15:50 - Ducks on a rush started by Blake, with Selanne feeding Koivu for the point blank try, stopped nicely by Giguere.
14:10 - Cogliano with a tip that almost beats Giguere. Ducks cut the shooting deficit to 24-9.
11:48 - Not a strong power play for the Ducks.
11:20 - Fowler's dump-in hits the glass oddly and caroms in front of Giguere in the crease, as he calmly sweeps it away.
11:00 - Hagman back on the Ducks bench.
10:48 - COL Penalty - Jan Hejda, 2 min. hooking. Hejda hooks Koivu going for the one-timer in front. First power play for the Ducks.
10:00 - Some scariness in front of the net, but the Ducks escape. Hiller comes up big, but got some help from the post.
7:20 - A couple pucks get in on Giguere, but he flicks them away.
6:40 - Blake with a tough-angle shot kicked away by Giguere. Just the fifth shot for Anaheim, against 18 for Colorado.
4:15 - Just as that's happening to Hagman, Koivu with a steal and a bouncing feed to Selanne, who whiffs on the one-timer.
4:10 - Hagman having trouble getting off the ice. Either an equipment issue or he's hurt. Beeline to the locker room.
0:55 - Clearing atatempt by O'Byrne looks like it hits Perry up high, but he appears okay.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Can't say the Ducks dominated the period (outshot 14-2) but they did take a 1-0 lead on Ryan's shorthander.
18:10 - Ryan and Getzlaf get a little give-and-go going on the rush, but Getzlaf's one-timer flies wide. Could have been a beauty.
17:30 - Hiller nicely fights off a Galiardi shot.
16:06 - Parros nicely forces the puck down the ice after a takeaway. A little scuffle after Brookbank gets off Anaheim's second shot on goal and Giguere holds it.
14:50 - Perry looks like he's going to get ready to set up behind the net, then realizes his stick is cracked and takes off running without it to the bench. Those who aren't hockey experts just got really confused.
13:59 - Ducks being outshot 14-1 now, but lead in the most important category.
11:20 - Off a Fowler giveaway, Beauchemin slides to break up an Avs rush. Nicely done. He has a team-record nine blocked shots last game.
10:30 - Hiller reaches out to glove an O'Byrne shot from the point. No shot on goal though, as it was going wide. It's 10-1 Avs.
8:54 - Ducks kill it.
8:00 - Ducks 1 for 1 on shots tonight.
6:54 - ANA Penalty - 2 min. too many men on the ice.
2:49 - ANAHEIM GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - BOBBY RYAN - Ryan lights up the crowd when he picks off a pass at the Avs blue line and heads down on the breakaway, snapping off a quick wrister under Giguere. Second shorty of the season for Ryan and it's 1-0 Ducks.