Ducks blast Hiller, Flames 6-1 in Game 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) It's too late for goaltender Jonas Hiller to prove anything more to the Anaheim Ducks. That ship sailed a while back. He's wearing a Calgary uniform now, so all that's left for him is to try and prevent them from advancing to the NHL's Western Conference finals.
But the well-rested Ducks took it to him on Thursday night in Game 1 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series, scoring three goals on their first 14 shots and chasing him to the bench at 2:13 of the second period in a 6-1 victory over the Flames.
''I felt like our preparation was great, and it paid off,'' Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. ''We came out skating well and definitely executed our game plan. But we know they're a great hockey team and they're going to rebound and play great the next game, so we've got to keep doing what we're doing.''
Corey Perry had two goals and two assists for the top-seeded Ducks, who had a seven-day layoff following their first-round sweep of Winnipeg. Getzlaf had a goal and three assists, and Anaheim also got goals from Patrick Maroon, Matt Beleskey and Emerson Etem.
''They were hungry to play,'' coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''We practice hard those seven days, and we had only one day off. So I think they were tired of practicing and ready to play. They've been disappointed the last couple of years in the playoffs, and it's a more serious group this year. The leadership is really great inside the room.''
Game 2 is Sunday night back at Honda Center, where the Flames haven't won since the 2006 playoffs and have lost 20 consecutive regular-season games since January 2004.
The six goals tied a Ducks playoff record. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves, losing his bid for his first NHL playoff shutout when Sam Bennett ended the scoring with 10:44 remaining after Perry and Getzlaf got power-play goals 1:18 apart during the first 2:32 of the third period.
''I don't think you can ask for anything more from them,'' Boudreau said of the longtime linemates. ''When Getzlaf's moving his legs like that, he makes a lot of things happen. Corey's a great finisher, and Patty Maroon did a really good job with them tonight.''
Hiller, who was pulled by coach Bob Hartley in Games 2 and 6 of the Flames' first-round series against Vancouver, stopped 11 of 14 shots before he was yanked again with a 3-0 deficit after Perry carried the puck out from behind the net and jammed it past Hiller's stick at 2:13 of the second.
''It definitely didn't play out the way we wanted. I think everybody has got to get better - me included,'' Hiller said. ''But it doesn't matter if it was 1-0 or 6-1, it just counts as one win.
''I think they outworked us tonight, but they were hungrier than we were,'' he added. ''And that was always our staple: to outwork the opponent. We don't have the skills to let them outwork us and still think we are going to be able to win. You could tell they were ready and wanted it more than us tonight.''
Hiller spent his first five NHL seasons with Anaheim and became a free agent last summer after the Ducks decided not to re-sign him. The Flames signed him to a two-year, $9 million contract, and he finished the regular season 26-19-4 with a 2.36 goals-against average.
Hiller appeared in 26 postseason games with Anaheim and started 22 of them, going 12-12 with a 2.29 GAA and three shutouts. But he was edged out on the depth chart by Andersen and John Gibson after the Ducks were bounced in the second round last year by eventual champion Los Angeles.
The game was still scoreless when the sellout crowd of 17,174 unleashed derisive chants of ''Hill-er! Hill-er!''
Just 2:05 after the opening faceoff, Andersen stopped center Josh Jooris on a breakaway after Jakob Silfverberg lost control of the puck inside the Calgary blue line and fell down.
''That save was the big thing for us, because it got us going,'' Boudreau said. ''If that puck goes in, I think it's a whole different ballgame and it changes the complexion of everything. And Freddie had to make a few more of those. It wasn't just one save and done.''
Beleskey opened the scoring at 10:17 of the first period. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm's wrist shot from about 5 feet inside the blue line went wide of the left post, but Kyle Palmieri played the carom off the end boards and quickly backhanded the puck to an unchecked Beleskey in front of a wide-open net with Hiller out of position.
Maroon made it 2-0 less than 3 minutes later when he redirected Getzlaf's backhanded centering pass from the left corner with David Jones checking him in front of the net.
Etem converted a rebound of Beauchemin's slap shot from the right point at 10:11 of the second after Karri Ramo replaced Hiller in goal.
NOTES: Perry and Getzlaf each tied a club playoff record with four points. ... The Flames played the final two periods without LW Micheal Ferland, and the final 36 minutes without leading goal scorer Jiri Hudler because of undisclosed injuries. ... The only players still with the Ducks from their `06 playoff showdown with Calgary are Getzlaf, Perry and Beauchemin - all of whom were rookies that season. ... Brian Burke, who was the Ducks' general manager when they won the Cup, is now the Flames' president of hockey operations. ... The series winner will face the Chicago-Minnesota winner for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals.