Ducks 3, Chicago 1.

Jonas Hiller, playing less than 24 hours after a victory in Nashville, “won the hockey game for us” in the words of Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle.

It was tough to argue with that assessment after Hiller turned aside 42 shots, including 34 over the final two periods, to preserve the Ducks’ fourth straight victory. Hiller has started all four, allowing just six goals, to improve his season record to 15-12-3.

“I can definitely say it was one of my best games this year,” he said. “We played pretty solid defensively. I saw most of the shots. We were cleaning the rebounds. It was a big effort from everybody.”

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Chicago 5, Ducks 2.

The Ducks had to do all the little things — and all the big things — to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, owners of the Western Conference’s best record, on the road Sunday.

After hanging on for 26 scoreless minutes, both areas of the game caught up with the Ducks.

“We had a couple opportunities on the power play,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “In games like this, that can make a world of difference. We had our fair share of chances. We had lots of 2-on-1s, we got scoring opportunities, but we hit posts or their goaltender made some big stops.”

“We didn’t do enough to force ’em. A couple 2-on-1s, we just skated right in. We didn’t change the angle of the puck.”

Petteri Nokelainen scored twice in less than two minutes of the third period to salvage a more respectable final score. But Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi was otherwise invincible against the Ducks, stopping 22 of 24.

Blackhawks forwards Kris Versteeg and Troy Brouwer scored on Jean-Sebastien Giguere (23 saves) to put Chicago up 2-0 going into the final period. Then Marian Hossa did the biggest damage early in the third, scoring at even strength at 1:14, and again on a power play at 3:41, to effectively put the game away.

“I thought we did come out and play sort of the type of game we have to play in here … we were skating, we were making simple plays,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said. “We had a couple chances; if those go in it’s a different game. They capitalized on theirs and it started to pile on at the end. It’s gone this way for us a fair number of times before this year.”

Sheldon Brookbank and Evgeny Artyukhin collected the assists on both goals for the Ducks (16-19-7), who will try to shake a three-game losing streak against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday in Anaheim.

Geztlaf, Ducks prepare for hot ‘Hawks

“I don’t know if there is a good time” to face the Chicago Blackhawks, Ryan Getzlaf said Thursday, but tomorrow might be as good as any for the Ducks.

They have won three of four to start their current homestand. Even the lone loss, a 4-3 defeat at the hands of San Jose on Saturday, was “the best game we played this year,” in the words of head coach Randy Carlyle. Their two wins since, a pair of 3-2 decisions against Calgary and Carolina, matched the Ducks’ longest winning streak in a difficult season.

To win an unprecedented third straight, they’ll have to slow a runaway L-train that has won eight in a row, including a 7-2 blowout Wednesday in San Jose.
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Blackhawks claim Ebbett off waivers.

Andrew Ebbett is headed to Chicago.

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman must have liked what he saw in the 5-foot-9 center from the University of Michigan, who joins a team short on forwards. Marian Hossa, Adam Burish and Ben Eager are currently on injured reserve.

The 26-year-old Ebbett had no points in two games, and was a healthy scratch in the other four, for the Ducks this season. In his longest NHL stint last year, Ebbett had eight goals and 32 points in 48 games.e