The Ducks look for their seventh win in nine games Wednesday night as they try to continue their dominance of the Avalanche.
Anaheim (30-25-7) is last in the Pacific Division, but is only three points behind the final playoff position in the Western Conference after winning six of eight as part of a 14-6-0 stretch heading into the Olympic break.
Seven Ducks also enjoyed success in Vancouver, earning the most medals of any NHL team. Captain Scott Niedermayer(notes), Ryan Getzlaf(notes) and Corey Perry(notes) helped Canada win gold with Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win over the United States, which had Bobby Ryan(notes) and Ryan Whitney(notes), who was dealt to Edmonton on Wednesday for high-scoring defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky(notes).
Hiller, who will likely be in net Wednesday, was superb for Switzerland, going 2-2-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average. That was perhaps a carry-over from his play with the Ducks.
Hiller went 14-5-0 with a 2.42 GAA and a shutout in 19 games. That stretch also saw him emerge as Anaheim’s clear No. 1 goaltender after the team dealt veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere(notes) to Toronto on Jan. 31.
Hiller has won four consecutive games against Colorado behind a 2.00 GAA.
Getzlaf has also been key to the Ducks’ recent success, posting four goals and eight assists during a six-game scoring streak.
The center leads Anaheim with 61 points, and has two goals and eight assists in 10 games against the Avalanche (35-21-6), helping the Ducks win nine of the last 10 meetings including five straight at Honda Center.
Getzlaf and Niedermayer scored to help the Ducks rally with four unanswered goals in the third period to beat Colorado 4-2 for a fifth consecutive time overall Dec. 22.
The Avalanche could use a better start if they’re going to avoid a third consecutive defeat. They came back from a two-goal first-period deficit only to lose 3-2 to Detroit on Monday night.
“I felt our energy level got better as the game went on,” coach Joe Sacco said. “We played a team that was very desperate for points.”
Paul Stastny(notes), Colorado’s leader with 55 points, has struggled on the road with one goal and three assists in nine games. The center hasn’t been successful in Anaheim either, accumulating just two assists in four games.
Craig Anderson(notes) should get the start in goal again, despite losing his last two starts by allowing three goals in each contest, matching the total he surrendered during a personal four-game winning streak.
Anderson is 1-3-0 with a 2.77 GAA in four starts against Anaheim, making 39 saves in losing the last meeting.