A stellar performance in goal from Jonas Hiller(notes) helped the Anaheim Ducks win the final game of their longest road trip this season. Now, they’ll try to ride that momentum while continuing their recent dominance at home.
The Ducks look to extend their season-high home winning streak to nine games Wednesday night when they face the Detroit Red Wings.
Two days after he signed a four-year contract extension and one day after Anaheim (26-23-7) traded longtime No. 1 goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere(notes) to Toronto, Hiller stopped 33 shots for his second shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory at Florida on Monday.
While the result solidified the franchise’s faith in Hiller, it also was Anaheim’s second straight victory to conclude a 3-3-0 swing.
Anaheim is in 11th place and five points behind Detroit (27-19-10), which currently holds the final Western Conference playoff spot. Four of the Ducks’ next six games before the two-week Olympic break are against teams ahead of them in the conference standings.
“We have a lot of important games coming up,” forward Teemu Selanne(notes) told the Ducks’ official Web site. “We want to finish strong before the Olympic break, so that when we come back, we are in a good situation.”
The Ducks have put themselves in a good situation to win at home, where they’re in the midst of their longest streak since a 10-game run from Feb. 17-March 26, 2008.
Hiller, likely to be Switzerland’s starting goaltender at the Olympics, has a 2.57 goals-against average during a personal seven-game home winning streak. He made 38 saves in his only victory in three appearances against Detroit, 4-1 at home Jan. 5, also snapping the Ducks’ five-game skid in the series.
That contest also was one of eight Selanne missed with a broken jaw, but the veteran returned with a goal against Florida.
“I’m very happy to be back,” said Selanne, who has 17 goals in 31 games during an injury-plagued season, and three with four assists in his last four games against Detroit. “I’m only looking forward. Every day is going to be better.”
Detroit, which is 2-1 against Anaheim this season, improved to 1-0-1 on its five-game road trip with a 4-2 win at West-leading San Jose on Tuesday.
“If you can do it against good teams why can’t you do it every night?” coach Mike Babcock said after Detroit beat the Sharks for the third time this season. “That’s what we have to talk about. We have to do better every night.”
Henrik Zetterberg(notes) had a goal and Tomas Holmstrom(notes) added two assists after missing a month with a broken foot. Detroit scored four unanswered goals to bounce back from a 2-1 shootout loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
“We’re trying to get things going right for us,” said forward Derek Meech(notes), who scored Tuesday’s game-winner. “We just have to make sure now that we’re ready to play every team that we come across.’”
Zetterberg has four goals and seven assists in his last 11 games, and three with four assists in two against the Ducks this season.
Jimmy Howard(notes) made 32 saves versus the Sharks, and is 2-0-1 with a 1.62 GAA since losing two in a row. He’s 2-1-0 with 3.01 GAA against the Ducks this season, but could give way to backup Chris Osgood(notes) in this back-to-back scenario.
Osgood has lost his last three starts, but is 5-2-1 with a tie and a 2.40 GAA all-time at Anaheim.