Hiller Shuts Out Oilers in Return

The Ducks got their sixth road win in a row and finished off a four game road trip perfectly with a 4-0 shut out over the Edmonton Oilers. 

The Oilers were playing the second of home back-to-back games, and were not their sharpest in either contest.   The Ducks took advantage, scoring just :34 seconds into the game with Teemu Selanne’s 623rd career goal.  It turned out to be the game winner, which gives Selanne 100 of those, only the sixth player in NHL history to do so. 

Jonas Hiller took the net for the first time since February 2.  After a disastrous start to that game, he went on IR with fatigue and lightheadedness.   He backed up Curtis McElhinney on Friday night in Calgary and was deemed ready to go on Sunday. 

Hiller picked up his fifth shut out of the year, but he only had to make 12 stops to do so.  Certainly not his usual 30+ shots against, but definitely a kinder, gentler way to reintroduce to game play.

“It wasn’t as easy as it looked,” Hiller said. “Not getting any shots is never easy. After a couple of weeks now of not having played in a real game, it probably makes it even more difficult.”

The game broke open in the second period, with Brandon McMillan and Bobby Ryan scoring 1:14 seconds apart late in the period.  McMillan now has a four game scoring streak and goals in his last three games.   McMillan admitted that good chemistry is developing between he and linemates Dan Sexton and Maxim Lapierre, and it certainly is showing on the scoresheet.

Ryan added a second goal at 1:31 of the third period that chased Devan Dubnyk out of goal.  It was not Dubnyk’s fault at all, considering that he was left high and dry by teammates.  Nikolai Khabibulin came in and stopped everything else, but the Oilers failed to even get any decent chances.  They did not even have a shot on goal in the third period until more than 12:00 in.

“We’re just playing with a lot of confidence as a team right now,” said Selanne. “It takes everybody. It doesn’t matter if you play two minutes or you play 30 minutes.”

The Ducks get to take their winning streak back home for single game before adding more miles to their travel logs. 

The Ducks also get to head home fourth place in the conference standings and tied with Dallas for the Pacific Division lead.  Dallas has one game in hand, but Anaheim is making a clear run for the division. 

There is a long way to go, but having a strong road presence in addition to dominating on home ice will help the Ducks attain their goal of the post-season once more.

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.