Hiller Throws A Shutout In 6-0 Win Over Rangers

Jeff Gross

Ooooh boy. Quite the home opener for the Ducks as they score 6 goals on 37 shots against the New York Rangers.


Final Score: Ducks 6, Rangers 0

First Period Recap: I wasn't sure how the night was going to go after I didn't get Wild Wing coming in on a zip-line from the rafters. Turns out, it went pretty damn well.

It took the Ducks only five minutes to score their first goal. I hate using the term 'vintage' to describe a play or players but its the only appropriate way to describe the goal - it was vintage Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, except in reversing roles. Dustin Penner took the puck away from one of the Rangers in the neutral zone and got it up to Perry. Corey deked and dragged his way to the front of the net with Getzlaf on his flank. Henrik Lundqvist went down to on his side in an attempt to block Perry's pass to Getzlaf from across the top of the crease. Somehow Perry managed to get the puck through the armpit of the falling King Henrik, right on to Getzy's stick for the uncontested goal. Boom. Ducks up 1-0.

Shortly after the goal, noted d-bag Aaron Asham threwdown the gloves, tore his helmet off and challenged Patrick Maroon to a fight. It was a pretty good scrap with both players managing to land a few punches. I'd call it a draw with the slight edge to Maroon because he was able to shake the elbow pad off and get some harder hits in. Since Asham took off his helmet, he was given the extra 2:00 minutes on top of the fighting major, sending the Ducks on the power play. Both PP units set up and had their chances but ended up with only 2 shots on net.

Midway through the period, new guy Jakob Silfverberg put the Ducks up 2-0 thanks to his linemates Teemu Selanne and Matthieu Perreault. The Ducks continued to pressure the Rangers. Lundqvist had to know he was in for a looong night after Daniel Winnik scored on a wrist shot from near the blue line. Anaheim now up on New York 3-0. Shortly after the goal, the Ducks were forced to kill a penalty after Silfverberg was called for interference. The PK has been, well, terrible so far this year but thank jeebus tonight they got it back on track, easily killing the penalty.

With less than five minutes to go, I didn't see how it started but all the sudden Bryan Allen is throwing down with Derek Dorsett. Allen wins this fight without question. He is at least a foot taller than Dorsett, making it nearly impossible for Dorsett to land anything. Once Allen sufficiently beat up his opponent, he was sent to the box and Dorsett was sent packing for the night. The Rangers players was given 2 minutes for tripping, 2 minutes for instigating, 5 minutes for fighting and a 10 minute game misconduct. Dorsett was clearly not happy with the decision by the referee, at least that's what I inferred after Dorsett chucked his helmet down the tunnel to the locker room. Ducks have a 4 minute power play and aren't able to convert, despite being set-up and in control nearly the entire time.

Anaheim closes the period up 3-0, posting 17 shots to the Rangers 3.

Second Period Recap: Just under 90 seconds into the second period, Drako Malfoy impersonator Silfverberg scores his second goal of the night on one of the strangest plays. The Ranger defensemen collide with each other near their blueline leaving Teemu Selanne all alone with the puck. Lundqvist comes 30 feet out of his crease and attempts to poke/dive at the puck leaving the goal wide open. Selanne fires on net and it just barely misses going in. The rebound off the post leaves the puck dead center in front of the goal. Silfverberg wins the foot race and nets his second goal, fourth goal in as many games. (For those of you playing at home, that's Silfverberg 4 goals, Bobby Ryan 1 goal. Just pointing it out for any nay-sayers on the trade.)

The Ducks are up 4-0 and it becomes 5-0 on a Saku Koivu goal a few minutes later. Things have fully unravelled for the Rangers at this point but they didn't lose their minds like the Ducks usually do in a blow out. They just aren't made for Alain Vignault's system. They're still Johnny Tort's blue collar, shot blocking players, not creepy identical Swedish twins who don't play physical at all. I'm sure once Vignault has a few off-seasons, he'll be able to get the players he needs to run his system.

Anyway, the Ducks go on the power play again and this time it was a lot less organized. They turned the puck over many times to the Rangers for shorthanded chances, but luckily for Anaheim, Jonas Hiller was lights out when challenged. Plus the Ducks defense (YES! THE DUCKS DEFENSE!) played extraordinarily well when it came to forcing turnovers. Tonight I saw exactly why the Ducks took Hampus Lindholm at No. 6 overall. He and Sami Vatanen were sensational challenging Ranger puck carriers and blocking shots.

Anaheim's final goal of the night came with under four minutes to go in the second. Dustin Penner tipped in a pass from puck handling machine Perry making it 6-0 and that's how the period would end.

Third Period Recap: Alain Vignault kept Lundqvist in the entire game, something he did often with Roberto Luongo when he was blown out in Vancouver. Henrik didn't have to do as much work in the third period. With their foot off the gas pedal, the Ducks allowed the Rangers to get nearly caught up to them in shots (37-34 Ducks) as they fired everything at Hiller. Leave it to Jonas to stay completely calm and keep his shut out intact, even when he had to make some weird twisty save while laying on his back.

Anaheim faced two penalty kills and went on three power plays, not allowing/scoring a goal in either. The game was obviously out of hand and I was left to cheer for getting Malfoy the hat trick. He didn't but the Ducks still won 6-0.

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The Good: Where has this team been all my life (or the past three games)?! This was, by far, the best the team has looked in this very tiny sample size of a season. After four days off, they looked and played like they were very well rested but not rusty. Until injuries started to happen (see: the ugly), Bruce was able to roll all four lines without having to put Getzlaf and Perry on the ice for longer than they should be. Emerson Etem returned to the lineup and didn't miss a stride. It was great to see Hampus Lindholm settle in with Francois Beauchemin, hopefully preventing the return of Mark Fistric in the near future.

The Bad: It's hard to find fault with this game. I'll go for the obvious, going 0-6 on the power play. They got set up multiple times but just couldn't find the back of the net. I'm okay with 6 even-strength goals.

The Ugly: Dustin Penner (lower body), Nick Bonino (lower body) and Mathieu Perreault (upper body) left the game early with injuries. When each player left, the game was pretty much in hand, so hopefully this was just a precautionary measure. The only one I saw while at the game was Perreault. He got tied up with a Rangers player and all the sudden he was on the ground, face towards the ice. It took him a couple seconds to get up and when he did, he started feeling his face. I'm hoping it's a flesh-wound and not a c-word.

Interesting post-game update:

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3rd MVD(s): Bryan Allen and Sami Vatanen were plus-5, tied for the best mark in team history. I didn't notice Allen very much, and when it comes to defensemen, that's a good thing. Vatanen finally used his speed to get out of the way of checks instead of being demolished by the opposition. Vatanen showed what he can do at the point on the power play. My only knock against him was not unleashing his cannon of a shot when he had the chance.

2nd MVD: Jonas Hiller - the Ducks goaltender wasn't really tested until the third period when his team was up a very comfortable 6-0. The boys in front of him cooled down their offensive jets and allowed the Rangers to pepper Hiller with 17 shots

1st MVD: Jakob Silfverberg - the big player in the Bobby Ryan trade now has 4 goals (in as many games) to Ryan's 1 goal. Drako Malfoy has found chemistry with Perreault and Teemu Selanne. Hopefully Perreault is healthy enough to return on Sunday and continue to keep the TMJ line in tact. (TMJ = lock jaw)

Honorable mention: Corey Perry - he was puck-handling and skating the best I've seen in a looong time. It was like he was possessed by the silky mitts of Bobby Ryan.

Next Game: Sunday, October 13 at 5:00pm PT - Bobby Ryan Ottawa Senators at Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (Throwback night!)

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