Thursday, February 04, 2010

Jonas Hiller's 46 saves stops Red Wings in Anaheim

Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is thrown to the ice by the Ducks' Troy Bodie during the Wings' 3-1 loss Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif.   (AP)
Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is thrown to the ice by the Ducks' Troy Bodie during the Wings' 3-1 loss Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif. (AP)

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- This night, Jonas Hiller denied the Red Wings’ attempt at pulling off a second straight rally.

Playing 24 hours after polishing off a top contender and then flying on to their next stop, the Red Wings weren’t able to solve Hiller, who made 46 saves to hand the Wings a 3-1 loss Wednesday at Honda Center.
“We played a good game, we generated a lot of scoring chances,” Jimmy Howard said after making 27 saves. “Their guy stole two points for them tonight, basically.”
With Calgary picking up two points against Carolina, the Wings dropped to ninth place in the Western Conference standings, though it’s a logjam around that spot. The Wings were in eighth after rallying from a two-goal deficit to polish off the Sharks Tuesday at San Jose, but falling behind by three goals to the Ducks proved insurmountable.
“Coming from behind in back-to-back games on the road isn’t the ideal spot you want to be in,” said Todd Bertuzzi, who had four shots on net. “I didn’t think we played horrible – there was a little bit of running around early in our zone, but then we settled down and we had enough chances to score, just, Hiller came through for them.
“We can’t be spotting teams like that leads. We talked about it – get the puck deep and get on the forecheck. We started like that but then their big line got on a roll there cycling the puck and all that and it seemed like they got a little bit momentum from that. They got a couple of cheesy goals from the point.”
Ryan Whitney scored on a setup by Ryan Getzlaf when the puck went in off Brad Stuart’s foot, and Kyle Chipchura got credit for a goal when the puck went in off his forearm at 16:13 of the first period.
“We fell behind early and couldn’t really get back into it,” Stuart said. “We were doing some good things and getting pucks in on net but we weren’t getting a whole lot of second opportunities. Then you fall behind 3-0 and you’ve played the night before on the road, you force yourself to find something you maybe don’t have as far as energy wise goes. We just weren’t able to reach down and pull anything out.”
Bobby Ryan was alone in the slot to score at 8:55 of the second period, but Pavel Datsyuk looked dazzling when he beat Hiller glove-side on a breakaway during a second period that saw the Wings send 21 shots his way.
“I didn’t mind the way we played,” Mike Babcock said. “I thought we could have been a little bit harder in our own zone in the first period. In saying that, on back-to-back nights, I thought we battled hard. We gave ourselves every opportunity. I didn’t think Howie had much goaltending luck. I thought we pushed hard, I thought we gave ourselves good opportunity, I thought Hiller was strong.”
Babcock used Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to match up against Getzlaf’s line, at times throwing Bertuzzi out with the group instead of usual linemate Tomas Holmstrom. Bertuzzi spent a good chunk of the game with Valtteri Filppula, who led the Wings with seven shots.
“You’ve got to bury them,” Babcock said. “That’s all there is to it – you get a chance, you’ve got to bury them. Some guys are goal scorers and other guys aren’t. Fill likes to pass more than he likes to shoot, but Fill had glorious opportunities tonight.”
The Wings are 1-1 on their swing west, which concludes Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles.


Anaheim «2103


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