Jonas Hiller admitted to getting a little lucky at the end.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” Hiller said after a memorable 39-save performance, including a perfect 19-save third period.
Jack Skille and Viktor Stalberg did their best to thwart perfection, but were both victims of a great Honda Center Heist – Skille’s shot from a few feet out was gloved down at the goal line (it went to video review in Toronto; judge for yourself here), and Stalberg’s shot deflected off Hiller’s glove and over the net.
That was as close as Chicago came to tying the game after early goals by Andreas Lilja (his first as a Duck) and Corey Perry stood. That is, unless you consider the scary moment in the second period when Andy Sutton’s stick accidentally got through the goalie’s mask and clipped his eyebrow. “I’m glad nothing happened,” Hiller said in the understatement of the evening.
More details in tomorrow’s editions. A few more notes …
The Chicago Blackhawks are missing captain and top center Jonathan Toews arguably more than the Ducks are missing their top center and captain, Ryan Getzlaf. Chicago lost its third straight game – the last two were without Toews – while Anaheim has won three in a row. It didn’t help that No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford missed the last two games with a flu, but the ‘Hawks are hurting in the faceoff circle without Toews. They won only 18 of 50 draws tonight against a Ducks squad that ranks 27th in the NHL in faceoff percent.
Teemu Selanne said he wasn’t looking for a fight with Duncan Keith in the third period, though the two shoved quite a bit at the end of a play that saw Selanne get knocked down by the reigning Norris Trophy winner near his own net. Asked how many fights he’s been in, Selanne said “my first year, maybe one and a half” – but none since. Asked if he recalled who the fight was against, Carlyle – who was teammates with Selanne on the 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets – quipped “maybe it would have been his sister.”
Carlyle said he only found out Sunday morning that Maxim Lapierre didn’t have the necessary work visa needed to play hockey for a U.S.-based team. Lapierre was born in Canada and had never played for a team based outside his home and native land.
A team spokesperson said that Getzlaf will be re-evaluated again this week either Tuesday or Wednesday. Getzlaf suffered multiple nasal fractures Tuesday and remains on injured reserve.
The Ducks aren’t just giving up a lot of shots – they’re giving them up late. The Blackhawks got 30 of their 40 shots in the final two periods tonight; the Flyers got 26 of their 37 shots in the final two periods Friday, while the Coyotes got 23 of their 32 shots in the final two periods Tuesday.
Jason Blake is day-to-day with a shoulder injury, not a knee injury as Carlyle initially indicated in his postgame media scrum.
Russia and Finland staged a dramatic quarterfinal matchup Sunday at the World Junior Championships. Down 3-1 with less than four minutes to play, Russia got goals by Yevgeni Kuznetsov and Maxim Kitsyn to forge overtime, whereupon Kuznetsov scored the game-winner. Igor Bobkov (Russia) didn’t play in goal, while fellow Ducks prospect Sami Vatanen (Finland) had an assist and a team-high seven shots on goal from the blue line.