Hiller, Ryan, Whitney on their big meeting.

Before they left for Vancouver, Jonas Hiller, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney took a pop quiz. One question. If they didn’t study, they should have.

What’s the first men’s hockey game in the Olympics?

Hiller and Ryan knew; Whitney, who was only added the Team USA roster last week, did not.

Hiller, in fact, has had it circled for a while. “Ever since they announced the schedule,” he schedule.

Here’s what else the trio had to say about today’s game between USA and Switzerland at noon:
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Whitney added to U.S. Olympic roster.

Defenseman Ryan Whitney was added to the U.S. Olympic roster for the Vancouver Games this morning.

“It will be amazing,” Whitney said. “I’ve played for my country before and it’s quite a feeling. It’s really a feeling like no other.”

The 26-year-old has represented Team USA at the 2001 World U18 Championships (Heinola/Helsinki/Lahi, Finland), the 2002 World Junior Championships (Pardubice/Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic) and the 2003 World Junior Championships (Halifax/Sydney, Canada).

This season for the Ducks, he has four goals and 24 points — tied for seventhamong U.S.-born defensemen in the NHL –through 57 games. Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason was also named to the team on Thursday.

“You have a lot of pride, you’re just happy to be a part of the team that’s representing your nation,” Whitney said. “I can’t wait. I’m so excited. I think it’s going to be quite an experience.”

Whitney joins teammates Bobby Ryan (USA), Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry (Canada), Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne (Finland), Jonas Hiller and Sbisa (Switzerland). Ryan and Whitney become the second and third Ducks selected to Team USA in franchise history and could be the first to appear in a game. Former Ducks goaltender Guy Hebert was named to the 1998 Team USA Olympic squad, but did not play.

Ducks prospect Luca Sbisa, who is playing for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, is also expected to play for Team Switzerland.

Ducks 3, Detroit 1.

The Ducks gained a critical two points in the standings against a tired Red Wings squad before 15,180 at Honda Center. Their 61 points in the standings matches 10th-place Dallas, and trails the three eighth-place teams (Detroit, Nashville and Calgary) by three.

Ryan Whitney, Kyle Chipchura and Bobby Ryan scored for Anaheim and Jonas Hiller made some spectacular saves among his 46.

Whitney deflected a point shot off a skate to score the game’s first goal, and Steve Eminger shot the puck off Chipchura’s hand to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead after one period.

Bobby Ryan scored cleanly to make it 3-0 before Pavel Datsyuk capped the scoring with a breakaway power-play goal late in the second period.

Anaheim improved to 11-4-0 in its last 15 games, and its nine-game winning streak at home is one shy of tying a team record (Feb-March 2008).

More to follow …

Komisarek out, two U.S. Olympic ‘D’ spots open.

U.S. Olympic defenseman Mike Komisarek of the Toronto Maple Leafs will have shoulder surgery that will knock him out of the Vancouver Games and the rest of the NHL season. A date for the operation has not yet been set, the Maple Leafs said Wednesday.

“Our team doctors have recommended this after a determined effort to rehab the injury without surgery,” Komisarek said in a statement. “Having this done immediately is the right thing to do for the Leafs. I am truly sorry that I will not be able to represent my country at the Olympics.”

Team USA recently lost New Jersey Devils defenseman Paul Martin to a broken left forearm, leaving two openings on the blue line. The Ducks’ Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski are already among the names being bandied about as possible replacements. Others include Pittsburgh’s Alex Goligoski and the Kings’ Rob Scuderi.

Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres and Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes are the leading point producers among U.S.-born defensemen, but were not on the initial list of 60 players submitted to the IIHF as Olympic candidates by Brian Burke.

Olympics: Martin out; Whitney or Wisniewski in?

New Jersey Devils defenseman Paul Martin announced today that he is withdrawing his name from consideration for the U.S. Olympic Roster. Martin, who is currently on the Devils’ injured reserve, was named to the team on New Year’s Day. But his recovery from a fractured left forearm isn’t progressing as quickly as hoped, and Team USA will need to name a defenseman to take his place.

Two Ducks blueliners should be on general manager Brian Burke’s short list. Both Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski received calls just prior to the Olympic roster announcement to let them know they weren’t on the team, a sign of respect not afforded every player who was thought to be on the bubble.

Whitney attended the team’s orientation camp last August, while Wisniewski has had the better season for Anaheim. Both have three goals and 23 points this season, but Wisniewski has accumulated his stats in five fewer games and has a minus-1 rating compared to Whitney’s minus-10. Wisniewski has also proven adept in shootouts lately.

No word yet on who might be chosen as Martin’s replacement.

Team USA: Ryan in, Whitney, Wisniewski out.

With all of Fenway Park watching, Ducks winger Bobby Ryan was named to the U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team today, after the conclusion of the Winter Classic.

Unless injuries hit the American blue line, Ryan won’t be joined in Vancouver by Boston native Ryan Whitney or Canton, Mich. native James Wisniewski. Both were left off the roster by Team USA general manager Brian Burke.

More details and quotes in tomorrow’s editions.
The complete roster:
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Minutes from Tuesday’s meeting.

On a night when Ryan Getzlaf missed his first game of the season — along with injured forwards Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul — Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle had his work cut out for him Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Divvying up the time on ice was a challenge, but the end result was a 4-2 victory.

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Suddenly, Ducks looking like a fastbreak team.

It could have been a product of the Phoenix Coyotes’ defense. It could have been a product of the Ducks’ team speed. It could have been an aberration, or it could be a turning point.

Whatever the case, the Ducks had not scored four goals in regulation for more than a month — and only six times all season –before Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Phoenix. Two came on the power play which, considering the Ducks were up a man for more than 11 minutes, is to be expected.

The other two came not from the dump-and-grind style that became the Ducks’ trademark under Randy Carlyle, one that had other teams bulking up to push and prod their way to the net after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Both were breakaway plays, dependent upon up-and-down speed by Kyle Chipchura and Matt Brown as much as their persistence.

Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov did well to turn away many more breakout scoring chances by the Ducks, who scarcely held the territorial advantage.They were outshot 30-15 through two periods before several third-period penalties to Phoenix allowed Anaheim to settle into the offensive zone.
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Minnesota 5, Ducks 4, SO.

Just when it seemed like the Ducks had found new ways to win — on the road, on the backs of Joffrey Lupul and Bobby Ryan — they found another way to lose.

Leading 4-2 with five minutes left in regulation, the Minnesota Wild scored twice to send the game into overtime, then potted one more than the Ducks in the shootout en route to a 5-4 victory before another sellout crowd of 18,265 at Xcel Energy Center.

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