Ryan, Ducks hand Avalanche seventh straight loss - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Ryan, Ducks hand Avalanche seventh straight loss

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ANAHEIM, California (AP) -- After getting off 54 shots only to

lose their previous game, the Anaheim Ducks figured they needed

to try something different.

They got the job done while taking 23 fewer shots against

Colorado, handing the Avalanche their seventh consecutive defeat

with a 4-1 victory.

"Everybody in the room realized we dropped one on Friday (a 5-3

loss to Edmonton) that we felt like we should have had and we

lost two valuable points," said Bobby Ryan, who scored twice in

the win over Colorado. "We had a day off to address it, and we

knew coming into this one that we had to get off to a good start

and come away with two before we go on the road for a couple of

tough games.

"We had to have a better presence in front of the goaltender.

Obviously, (Dwayne) Roloson on Friday night saw too many pucks

and was able to make 52 saves -- and 40 of them were pretty

easy. So getting in front of the goalie, jamming the sides of

the net and finding a way to score some ugly ones was important

tonight."

The win gave the Ducks their first season sweep (4-0) of

Colorado, and kept Anaheim in the thick of the crowded race for

a Western Conference playoff berth. With six games left, Anaheim

is one point behind St. Louis for the eighth and last berth.

"We know every two points is incredibly valuable," said Ryan, a

rookie who posted his third multi-goal game of the season. "Look

around; other teams are winning as well, so it's important for

us to control our own fate and put another run together like we

did last week."

For Colorado, the losing streak is the franchise's longest since

they were the Quebec Nordiques and dropped eight in a row in

1992.

Jonas Hiller made 26 saves for Anaheim. He got the start after

Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed four goals on seven shots in the

loss to Edmonton before Hiller replaced him. The win was

Hiller's 19th, the same number Giguere has posted this season.

Hiller also made a "save" of sorts when he charged out to knock

the puck away and prevent a potential breakaway in the second

period, skating then sliding all the way to the blue line on the

play.

"I saw that the puck was jumping over (Chris Pronger's) stick,

and they had a chance to go in 2-on-0," Hiller explained. "`So I

thought I might make it over there. And once you decide to go,

you have to go because if you back off, you're totally lost."

While Hiller was scrambling to get back, Pronger went to the

crease and blocked a Colorado shot.

"Prongs made a save for me, so I may have to buy him dinner or

something," Hiller said.

Said Pronger: "It was a great play by him. It was a situation

that he read right away and he started coming quickly. Wen I saw

him coming out, I was just trying to get in front of the guy

while we were chasing down the puck so that I could give Jonas a

chance to get there -- and then it's a matter of trying to get

out of the way so that you don't run your goalie over."

Colorado's Peter Budaj made 27 saves.

"We only played for two periods," Budaj said. "When you don't

play the whole 60 minutes, it's tough to win a the hockey game.

They have a good team."

Ryan gave Anaheim a 3-1 lead at 4:05 of the third when he beat

defenseman John-Michael Liles and Budaj the same way, by sliding

a 25-footer between the pads of both for 26th goal. Drew Miller

padded the lead to 4-1 when he scooped the puck into the net

during a scramble in the crease for his fourth goal.

Ryan's power-play goal at 4:13 of the second period snapped a

1-1 tie.

After the Ducks' Corey Perry opened the scoring at 12:50 of the

first period, Liles evened it on a power play at 16:39 of the

period.

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