ANAHEIM, Calif. – With high-scoring captain Ryan Getzlaf sidelined, strong goaltending has become a priority for the Anaheim Ducks. Jonas Hiller showed they’re in capable hands.
Hiller stopped 39 shots, including all 19 he faced in the final period, to help the Ducks beat the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Sunday night.
“With Jonas, this isn’t the first time he’s stolen a game,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’ve come to kind of expect it.”
Andreas Lilja scored his first goal of the season and Corey Perry broke a second-period tie for Anaheim. The Ducks won their third straight game and ran their home winning streak to four.
Hiller has been in goal in each game during the winning streak.
“He carried the load for us tonight,” Perry said. “He’s the reason why we won this game.”
Bryan Bickell scored for Chicago, which couldn’t muster a tying goal despite outshooting the Ducks 19-2 in the final period. The Blackhawks have lost three straight.
“If you play like that in the third period, you will be rewarded,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “But that is the way we have to start the game, and we have to play like that throughout.”
Perry made it 2-1 at 1:46 of the second on a snap shot. He leads the Ducks with 21 goals and 44 points.
“If we play every night like we played tonight, we have a chance to win,” Hiller said.
Both teams were missing their captains because of injuries sustained Tuesday night.
Getzlaf took a puck to the face against Phoenix that resulted in multiple nasal fractures, while Chicago’s Jonathan Toews missed his second game because of a right shoulder injury.
Perry, elevated to an alternate captain with Getzlaf sidelined, stepped up in the absence of his injured linemate to score his 16th point in the last 12 games.
“There’s a lot of pressure everywhere,” Perry said. “A lot of guys have to step up at certain times in a game. (Getzlaf’s) a big hole to fill without him in there. It’s not going to be one guy, it’s going to take a lot of guys to do it.”
Lilja opened the scoring at 10:32 into the first. Lilja faked before firing a slap shot from the point that goalie Corey Crawford appeared to lose sight of in heavy traffic in front of the net.
Chicago tied it with 1:52 left in the first on Bickell’s 11th goal. Just after a power play expired, Hiller blocked Bickell’s shot with his stick, only to then push it into the goal with the backside of the stick.
Teemu Selanne had a chance to give the Ducks a two-goal edge in the third period when he drew a penalty shot after being taken down by Patrick Kane on the break.
Selanne came up empty on the attempt, clanking the puck off the crossbar. It was his sixth career penalty shot, only one of which he has converted.
Chicago attempted to take advantage of the miscue, controlling the offensive zone late and nearly scoring the equalizer. But they couldn’t figure out a way to solve Hiller.
“We kind of peppered Hiller there,” Chicago forward Jack Skille said. “He did his job and stood on his head there. He made a couple of big saves.”
Crawford, who returned after missing three games with an illness for Chicago, made 16 saves as Anaheim managed only 18 shots.
NOTES: Chicago appeared to score the tying goal in the third when Jack Skille’s shot forced Hiller to reach back for a glove save right on goal line. The play was originally ruled a no-goal and a video review upheld the call. … Hiller was struck on the helmet by the stick of teammate Andy Sutton early in the second. Play was stopped for a few moments as Hiller was examined by trainers. … Toews skated prior to the game and could return Monday against Los Angeles.