The Anaheim Ducks’ return home on Monday after coming off of a 5-1 road trip. There were questions as to who would start in goal for the team, but minutes before the puck was dropped the nod went to Jonas Hiller against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Sluggish start: This appears to be a trend for the Ducks as, once again, they were outplayed by a landslide. Already eight minutes into the game, Anaheim was outshot 9-0. They couldn’t get out of their zone and they tallied up a handful of turnovers.
Stellar save: Considering that it was the first start for Hiller since Feb. 2nd, my vote will go to him in this one goal win. Off the bat, he made an acrobatic behind the back swatting play and got a piece of a Derick Brassard shot that went between the wickets and back out. Overall, he looked decently sharped and kept the Ducks in it when called upon.
Unsung hero: Without a doubt, Francois Beauchemin went above and beyond tonight. He definitely prevented Columbus from getting on the board; twice. First in the second, Brassard was buzzing around the crease and had a wide open net. Beauchemin was there with his body to block a wide open net and he did the same in the final seconds on a 6-on-4 opportunity for the Jackets when RJ Umberger had the puck.
Skilled skater: Captain Ryan Getzlaf had a pep in his stride tonight as he was fully present on both sides of the ice. His relentless efforts rewarded him a goal, but he had to lay the body and win a couple battles before his goal. His reach on his goal and contributions didn’t go unnoticed.
Hiller pulled through on this win and made some huge saves. He’s definitely not 100% — the puck wasn’t quite sticking to him — but imagine how it will be when he is.
Ducks blocked 29 shots. That’s possibly 29 saves that Hiller didn’t have to make and minimizing the shots on goal is always a plus.
Anaheim was 2-for-3 on a very streaky power play and they didn’t give any up on their kill.