for this game

Perry, Hiller help Ducks top Blackhawks

Jan 5, 2008 - 7:37 AM
By Joel Bergman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The Anaheim Ducks made sure the Chicago Blackhawks came up empty on their West Coast road trip.

Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz both scored in the first period and Jonas Hiller made 20 saves as the Ducks hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night.

Patrick Sharp tallied for Chicago, which also suffered losses at Los Angeles and Phoenix during its three-game trek. The club has dropped four straight overall.

"The one game in LA (a 9-2 loss) was a throwout," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "We just didn't have anything going. We have to keep working like we have. Our young guys will find a way. I like the way we played. The last two games, we played pretty solid hockey."

Before the echoes of the last strains of the Star-Spangled Banner faded in the background, the Ducks jumped to a 1-0 lead.

Defenseman Sean O'Donnell's shot went wide and hit the end boards. The puck ricocheted back to Perry, who tucked it inside the left goalpost before netminder Nikolai Khabibulin could regain his position just 16 seconds into the contest for his team-leading 21st tally of the season.

"It was shot hard off the boards and bounced all the way back to me, and I was able to put it into the corner," Perry said. "We sure got off to a good start in this one."

The quick goal tied the mark for the second-fastest at the start of the game in franchise history. Paul Kariya holds the club record, tallying eight seconds into a contest against the Colorado Avalanche on March 9, 1997.

The Ducks doubled their lead with 47 seconds left in the opening session as Kunitz netted his 13th on the power play.

After Doug Weight won a faceoff back to Scott Niedermayer at the left point, the defenseman moved along the blue line toward the right wing boards, where he rifled a pass to Perry in the left circle. With Kunitz setting a screen in front, Perry fired a wrist shot that hit the shaft of Kunitz's stick and went under the arm of Khabibulin.

"I was setting up a screen in front of their goalie," Kunitz said. "When the puck came toward me, I got the shaft of my stick on it. I wanted to change the angle of the puck as it went in, and it just got by him."

Chicago halved the deficit to 2-1 at 1:56 of the middle session as Sharp cashed in following a scramble in front of the net. Rookie Patrick Kane drilled a wrist shot that rang off the left post, but with Hiller sprawled on the ice, Sharp swooped in and buried the rebound.

It was Sharp's career-high 21st goal of the season in just his 38th game. The 26-year-old scored 20 tallies in 80 contests last campaign.

"(Defenseman) Danny Richmond pinched in and kept the puck alive for us," said Sharp, the Blackhawks' leading goal-scorer. "Kaner had a great scoring chance, and I don't know if the goaltender still had the puck after making a great save on Kaner. I don't know if he still had the puck in the crease, but I just jammed it as hard as I could and got a stick on it, and it was able to go in."

The Blackhawks nearly pulled even in the final seconds, but Kane, Sharp and Robert Lang failed to sneak the puck past Hiller.

"I was just looking for the puck and trying to close the bottom of the ice. I tried somehow to get square to the puck," Hiller said, referring to Lang's chance. "I'm happy it didn't go in. Sometimes you need a little luck as a goalie, and I had that tonight. You don't know how the puck will bounce back.

"There were just so many legs and sticks, I just tried to close the ice, work well with my pads and keep the puck out of the net."

A native of Switzerland, Hiller needed to make just seven saves in the first period, six in the second and seven in the third to lead the Ducks to their sixth win in eight contests.

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle explained why Hiller, the backup to Jean-Sebastien Giguere, got the start against Chicago.

"Mainly because we felt that we have to play him a little bit more, and Giguere had a little bit of a flu bug here in the last couple of days," Carlyle said. "It made sense from an energy standpoint that we'd be taxing Giguere in back-to-back games, so we thought we'd go with Hiller tonight and see how he played.

"I thought he made some stops that were critical stops at critical times. He gave us a chance, and that's all you can ask of your goalie."

Khabibulin stopped 30 shots for the Blackhawks, who have managed just seven goals during their current slide.

"I'm proud of the effort that we had tonight. At the same time, we didn't get the result, and that was disappointing," Khabibulin said. "It was close, we had some chances, we hit the crossbar and really a couple of very good chances at the very, very end.

"But you really can't ask much more. I thought we've done everything pretty well, other than scoring goals and winning the game."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 1 0 1
    ANAHEIM 2 0 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 21 (SEAN O'DONNELL, RYAN GETZLAF) 0:16
    ANA - (PP) CHRIS KUNITZ 13 (COREY PERRY, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    19:13
    2ND PRD: CHI - PATRICK SHARP 21 (PATRICK KANE, KRIS VERSTEEG) 1:56
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY C

    Jan 5 12:29 AM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Blackhawks vs. DucksJan 5 12:24 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 1 1
    ANAHEIM 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 21 (SEAN O'DONNELL, RYAN GETZLAF) 0:16
    ANA - (PP) CHRIS KUNITZ 13 (COREY PERRY, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    19:13
    2ND PRD: CHI - PATRICK SHARP 21 (PATRICK KANE, KRIS VERSTEEG) 1:56
    SHOTS ON GOAL

    Jan 4 11:34 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    ANAHEIM 2
    2ND PRD: CHI - PATRICK SHARP 21 (PATRICK KANE, KRIS VERSTEEG) 1:56

    Blackhawks vs. DucksJan 4 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0
    ANAHEIM 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 21 (SEAN O'DONNELL, RYAN GETZLAF) 0:16
    ANA - (PP) COREY PERRY 22 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, DOUG WEIGHT)
    19:13
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 7

    Jan 4 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    ANAHEIM 2
    1ST PRD: ANA - (PP) COREY PERRY 22 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, DOUG WEIGHT)
    19:13

    Blackhawks vs. DucksJan 4 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 21 (SEAN O'DONNELL, RYAN GETZLAF) 0:16

    Blackhawks vs. DucksJan 4 10:10 PM