Ducks 2, Chicago 1.

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 …
Continue reading “Ducks 2, Chicago 1.” »

Chicago 4, Ducks 1.

The Ducks’ brand-new jerseys weren’t the solution to end their five-game losing streak. They just made the players look better in loss number six.

Jonas Hiller was pulled midway through an unsightly third period in which the Blackhawks scored three goals to break open a tie game. Dan Sexton’s first goal of the season was the only goal for the Ducks, who play tomorrow night in Phoenix.

Sexton had two of the Ducks’ six shots on goal in the first period. The first — a one-on-none breakaway through the offensive zone — was the prettier of the two, but resulted in a shot into the pads of Corey Crawford. The second, a redirection of a Saku Koivu shot at 16:49, gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead and their first power-play goal on their first man-advantage shift of the game.

Other than the new jerseys, the Ducks gave fans few reasons to watch the rest of the way.
Continue reading “Chicago 4, Ducks 1.” »

Chicago 3, Ducks 2, OT.

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:

Continue reading “Chicago 3, Ducks 2, OT.” »

Hiller injured, taken to hospital.

Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller suffered a cut above his left eye when a
puck struck his mask during practice Saturday in Chicago. Hiller was taken
to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago for precautionary reasons
and received four sutures. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated Sunday

The Ducks are catching the defending Stanley Cup champions at a good time – Chicago lost in Nashville in a shootout on Saturday, their fifth loss in six games. Backup Corey Crawford (1-4-0, 2.82 goals-against average) figures to get the start after Marty Turco played all 65 minutes plus the shootout against the Predators, stopping 30 of 33 shots.

Curtis McElhinney, who recorded his first career shutout Wednesday and nearly started Friday against the Dallas Stars, could get the start if Hiller isn’t ready to go.

Avalanche win, Ducks’ playoff hopes dim.

The Ducks’ last-ditch playoff bid hit a snag Sunday night, when the Colorado Avalanche pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory against visiting San Jose.

With four games left in the regular season, the eighth-place Avs now have 91 points in the standings, six more than the Ducks. Anaheim needs to gain seven or eight points in its final four games, and hope that Colorado does not earn more than two of eight points. They would also have to pass the Calgary Flames, who lost to the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1 on Sunday.

The Ducks have won eight of their last 11 games after beating the Kings 2-1 in a shootout Saturday. Their chances of making the playoffs increased to 0.9 percent when Chicago beat Calgary on Sunday morning, but fell to 0.7 percent after Colorado’s win.

Report: Seabrook still mad at Wisniewski.


CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook is hoping to play Tuesday night for the first time since Anaheim Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski knocked him out of a game last Wednesday.

Seabrook missed games in Los Angeles and Phoenix after the hit, which cost Wisniewski an eight-game suspension.

“He has skated three times now … and he’s looked fine,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Monday. “He seems ready to go.”

The Hawks host the Phoenix Coyotes, who have a nine-game win streak, on Tuesday.

“I want to play,” Seabrook said. “It’s going to be up to the coaching staff and the trainers.

“I got better gradually, rode the bike, had some headaches and wanted to skate and get out there and started feeling better. I started feeling less pressure in the head.”

But Seabrook hasn’t been able to shake the disappointment of being injured by a friend. Wisniewski is a former Blackhawk who invited Seabrook to his wedding. Seabrook said Friday he’s not sure if he’s going to attend.

“Any time something like that happens, i think it’s tough to handle, regardless,” Seabrook said. “But coming from a friend, coming from a guy I know pretty good, it’s got to be one of the most difficult things to get over.”

Report: NHL reviewing Wisniewski hit.

James Wisniewski awoke this morning a household name (again) in Chicago.

In case you missed his hit on Brent Seabrook in the second period of the Ducks’ 4-2 win over the Blackhawks last night, here is why the city of Chicago is calling for the former Blackhawk’s head on a platter.

According to a report on, the NHL is looking into the hit.
Continue reading “Report: NHL reviewing Wisniewski hit.” »

Ducks 4, Chicago 2.

It may end up being a case of “too little, too late” for the Ducks, but beating the two best teams in the Western Conference in back-to-back games at least serves as a reminder of their potential.

Three days after beating the conference-leading San Jose Sharks, they handed the second-place Chicago Blackhawks a 4-2 loss minus their best player, Ryan Getzlaf, who missed the game with inflammation in his left ankle.

Ryan Carter filled Getzlaf’s spot and won a faceoff that led directly to the game’s first goal, by Bobby Ryan at 4:08 of the first period.

Todd Marchant and Saku Koivu also scored, and Ryan added an empty netter in the final minute – his 30th and 31st goals of the season coming on his 23rd birthday. Jonas Hiller withstood a 41-shot barrage for the victory. Corey Perry added two assists.

With 13 games remaining, the Ducks trail the Detroit Red Wings by eight points for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Blackhawks are banged up.

It’s not just the hit that Alex Ovechkin laid on Brian Campbell Sunday that has the Chicago Blackhawks limping into Wednesday’s game with the Ducks.

Campbell, in case you missed it, broke his clavicle and rib as a result of Ovechkin’s hit, which resulted in a game misconduct and two-game suspension for the Caps’ captain. The Blackhawks defenseman is expected to miss 7-8 weeks, which projects to a return during the Stanley Cup Finals at the earliest, should Chicago make it that far.

The Blackhawks recalled defenseman Nick Boynton – whom the Ducks traded to Chicago for future considerations on March 2 – from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs to take Campbell’s roster spot.

Chicago forward Marian Hossa returned to practice today after missing Sunday’s game against Washington with an “upper-body injury.” His status for tomorrow is unknown.

Hawks goalie Cristobal Huet is battling the flu and will be benched in favor of Antti Niemi against the Ducks. Corey Crawford was recalled from Rockford Tuesday to serve as the emergency backup.

The Ducks could be without forward Ryan Getzlaf (ankle) and Teemu Selanne (shoulder). Both are listed as questionable after sustaining the injuries Sunday, and will be game-day decisions.

Selanne, Getzlaf ‘questionable’ for Wednesday.

The good news for the Ducks is that the injuries to Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne aren’t as serious as they could have been, considering neither was able to finish Sunday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

The bad news is, with the team’s playoff hopes leaving them in the position of having to win nearly every game remaining, both forwards are questionable for Wednesday’s game against Chicago.

An MRI exam Monday revealed a slight sprain in Selanne’s left shoulder. He will be evaluated again tomorrow morning and is currently listed as day-to-day. Getzlaf also had an MRI on his sprained left ankle, which revaled inflammation in the area but no further damage. He is also day-to-day.

Meanwhile enforcer George Parros, who was struck by a puck in Sunday’s morning skate, sustained a “contusion/laceration” on the side of his head and is likely to practice tomorrow and be available Wednesday.

The Ducks have recalled forward Kyle Calder from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Calder collected no goals and two assists in 14 games with Anaheim earlier this season. With the Marlies, he had 11 goals and 24 points in 31 games.