In the span of two days in Chicago, Jonas Hiller went from a hospital to helping the Ducks salvage a point in the standings.
Hiller, who received four sutures to close a cut above his eye sustained in practice Saturday, made 40 saves in the overtime loss to the Blackhawks. He had little chance on Viktor Stalberg’s re-direction of a Duncan Keith shot with 28 seconds left in overtime.
Corey Perry scored both goals for the Ducks (10-7-2), who saw their six-game winning streak end. Both teams had plenty of missed chances in an up-and-down game, and Blackhawks backup Corey Crawford had some big saves among his 24.
“They took it to us in the second and third (periods,” Perry said. “Hillsie stood tall in there for those shots he had to face. Overall we didn’t feel like we played the way we feel we wanted to, but we got a point.”
Patrick Kane took advantage of a lively puck off the end boards to put Chicago up 1-0 at 3:37 of the opening period. Perry answered with an unassisted goal less than a minute later. Jason Blake created the chance on the forecheck by pressuring Keith from behind; the reigning Norris Trophy winner coughed the puck up to Perry, who barely had to skate before firing in a wrister at 4:34.
A power-play goal by Marian Hossa at 11:24 of the middle period restored Chicago’s lead, and ended a streak of 17 straight penalties killed by the Ducks.
Randy Carlyle shook up the lines for the third period, but that barely factored into Perry’s equalizer at 3:36 of the third period. Perry created the chance by himself, gaining the blue line up the left wing, turning sharply to cut across the offensive zone, then faking his way around Niklas Hjalmarsson in the right circle and firing a wrister into the far side of the net past Crawford.
For Perry, the goals were his team-leading seventh and eighth of the season.
A few more notes:
Todd Marchant was scratched with what was announced by TV play-by-play man John Ahlers an “upper-body injury.” He was replaced in the lineup by Aaron Voros, who started out at left wing with Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri. The penalty kill may have suffered as a result of Marchant’s absense – Chicago scored two power-play goals in less than 6 minutes short-handed time.
There were no other lineup changes for the first 40 minutes, before Carlyle went with three different forward units to start the third period:
Ryan actually got free for several scoring chances in the final period. He led the Ducks in shots on goal (4).
Bonino (12:32) and Palmieri (13:33) saw their most ice time of the season. Cam Fowler (25:01) missed his season high by 21 seconds, but also had as many giveaways (2) as shots on goal.
Carlyle confessed that Corey Perry probably should have been on the ice to start overtime, when the Ducks had 1:07 left in a 4-on-3 power play. “We got too cute [on the overtime (4-on-3),” he said. “Getzlaf was standing around and the puck was bouncing around. We probably should have had Corey Perry out there, he had two goals on the night, and that’s probably my mistake for not having him out there.”
Phenominal game by Hiller. I don’t think that the Ducks played any better than they played on their first road trip of the year, except this time their D has added Lydman, Lilja and a new and improved Sbisa versus Mikkelson, Brookbank and Festerling. The D didn’t panic and kept most of the Chicago shots to the outside and allowed Hiller to see the puck and not face too many rebounds (which is how Hossa scored on the one they didn’t clear).
They blew that gift powerplay at the end of regulation and that was probably the key moment in the game. The Ducks will win far more than they lose if they keep playing this well, and Hiller continues to shine!