Ducks Look For Another 5-Game Win Streak As They Face Predators
NASHVILLE (AP) — Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said he’s been impressed that Jonas Hiller has not turned in a “clunker” during the goaltender’s club-record win streak.
Hiller has had more than a few of those against the Nashville Predators.
He figures to get tested if he gets the start Thursday night against the Predators as the visiting Ducks look for a fifth straight victory.
Anaheim (32-8-5) is 14-1-0 in its last 15 games, with Hiller winning all 12 starts in that span to establish a club record while posting a 2.05 goals-against average.
“Winning is always fun, it’s been an unbelievable stretch,” Hiller said. “Every night you go out there and you’re confident about (the) team’s game, about your game and it’s definitely easier than just playing a game once a week.”
Hiller made 30 saves Tuesday in a 5-2 home win over Boston. Although he doesn’t have a shutout in this span, he has been consistent while yielding exactly two goals nine times.
“It’s incredible goaltending when you think of the consistency,” Boudreau said. “Usually you can play a lot of good games in a row and you have a clunker, and he hasn’t had a clunker. So it’s a real testament to him.”
Hiller, however, is 3-8-0 with a 2.79 GAA in 12 games against the Predators (19-19-6), and has a 4.56 GAA in his last three in Nashville.
He’ll be supported by an offense that is among the NHL’s best with 3.31 goals per game. Nick Bonino has seven points in a four-game run and Corey Perry has nine points in his last eight contests.
Perry had a team-high five points as the Ducks swept three 2012-13 meetings with the Predators after losing the previous six.
Nashville’s penalty kill has struggled, yielding six goals in 11 chances over the club’s last four home games, though, the Predators have won the last three. Anaheim went 3 for 3 on the power play against the Bruins to break out of a 2-for-35 slide.
“We had been worrying too much about what we had to do instead of just going out and doing it,” center Ryan Getzlaf said. “We’re getting good chances out of it, and we know if we play good hockey, we have a chance to win every night.”
The Predators ended a 0-1-2 skid Tuesday with a 3-2 win over San Jose in the opener of a five-game homestand. David Legwand had a goal and an assist and Shea Weber added two assists for the Predators, who won by one goal after losing their last three by that margin.
“It was good the guys got rewarded,” coach Barry Trotz said. “We had a good game plan going in. We stayed with it and converted on a couple chances. Five-on-five I think we outscored them 3-1.”
Forward Patric Hornqvist is day to day after he left in the third period with a lower-body injury. His five-game point streak also ended.
The Ducks are unsure of the status of Dustin Penner, who sat out Tuesday with an upper-body injury.
Anaheim figures to get its first look at goalie Marek Mazanec, who has started in five of Nashville’s last six games.
Updated January 8, 2014