Detroit is No Foe for Hot Ducks

The Ducks have been a scoring machine of late, scoring four or more goals in six games straight. 

"When the guys score four, five goals every night, it's not too tough to win as a goalie," said Jonas Hiller after Saturday's game. 

On Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings, things got a bit tougher, but Hiller helped Anaheim get the 1-0 shutout as well as his 14th win in a row.

"My save percentage and goals-against average isn’t the best over this stretch," said Hiller, who earned the second NHL star of the week for his recent efforts.  "But it’s the wins that count. That’s what keeps you happy. It’s great to get a game with no goals against, but in the end, it’s the win that I enjoy most."

Hiller and everyone else is enjoying it.  Well, everyone except their opponents.

"They're finding a way to win every night and we're not," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.  "We would like to more like them, to be honest with you."

For now, the Ducks are hot and remain hot, winning 17 of the past 18 games, only the fifth team to do that in NHL history.  The last team to do it?  A Bruce Boudreau coached Washington Capitals team in 2009-2010. 

Equally impressive is the Ducks record at home – 19-0-2, still without a regulation loss on home ice. 

Both the Ducks and Red Wings were playing the second of back to back games and neither team had a particular jump in their step.   Hiller made 22 saves in the shutout and the Ducks did what they had to do defensively to shut down the limping Red Wings. 

Currently plagued with injuries, Detroit was a bit toothless, but dangerous nonetheless. 

The checking line of Saku Koivu, Andrew Cogliano and Kyle Palmieri rendered the Henrik Zetterberg line ineffective while managing to score the game's only goal.  Cogliano got the sole goal past Petr Mrazek at 12:42 of the second period.

"Sometimes you have to bear down and play good defense, and squeak games out," said Cogliano. "I thought it was an even game for the most part. We were able to really neutralize some of their top guys and get a goal."

Considering that Koivu had not one, not two, but three penalties called against him, it was an impressive game from him and his linemates.

"That line was really good," said Boudreau. "They’re out there to shut down Zetterberg’s line and they end up scoring the goal to win the game. That’s the kind of play we’ve been getting from Cogs and Sak. I thought Palmieri did a really good job on the right side tonight."

One absence from the line up was captain Ryan Getzlaf, who blocked a shot on Saturday against Phoenix and did not return to that game.  The Ducks erred on the side of caution and kept him out of the line up, although he will likely be back on Wednesday when the Ducks meet up with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Ducks will try to make it 20-0-2 at home and will likely do it in front of yet another sellout crowd, having sold out the past six games. 

If you win, they will come.   

About Karen Francis

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