Here come the Anaheim Ducks.
Jonas Hiller made 46 saves and Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist as the Ducks moved within three points of a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 3-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.
"It's fun to play if you get a lot of shots, but it's also a little tiring," Hiller said. "We found a way to win tonight."
Anaheim (27-23-7) has won its last nine games at the Honda Center. The Ducks can tie the franchise record for consecutive home wins on Monday against Los Angeles.
"It's been a nice run," Ryan said. "To lessen that gap that we've been steadily climbing out of is a great feeling for us."
"We just finished six (games) in nine nights," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It's been a grind, but no different than any other team. All of us are facing it before the Olympic break. We've had a lot of travel."
The loss dropped Detroit out of the top eight in the West. Nashville, Calgary and the Wings have 64 points, but the Predators and Flames hold seventh and eighth on tiebreakers. Anaheim is tied with Dallas at 61 points.
Ryan Whitney and Kyle Chipchura paced the Ducks to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Whitney scored just 71 seconds into the game, and Chipchura beat Howard with 3:47 remaining.
"We gave ourselves a good start and built on that," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "We did a lot of things that we needed to. It's all about getting points right now. We understand the situation we're in. We're looking up at a few teams. We'd like to climb into that other group to give ourselves a chance."
Ryan made it 3-0 with his 25th goal of the season at 8:55 of the second period. Hiller stopped 20 of 21 shots; the lone blemish came when Datsyuk scored on the power play in the final 10 seconds.
"I thought he played real well for them," Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said of Hiller. "He made some big saves and he was there for the rebounds, too."
Hiller stopped another 16 shots in the third and secured yet another win on home ice for the surging Ducks, who are now four games above the .500 mark after a rocky start.
"He's been impressive … he's given us a chance to win every night," Ryan said of Hiller. "That's all you ask from the guy. If you keep them to the outside and let him see as many pucks as we have, I think he's going to continue to do good things. We're certainly happy he's here to stay."
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report
|Ryan Whitney (4) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (39), Bobby Ryan (20)|
1 - 0 ANA
|Kyle Chipchura (4) ASST: Steve Eminger (5), Todd Marchant (10)|
2 - 0 ANA
|Bobby Ryan (25) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (40), Corey Perry (32)|
3 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Pavel Datsyuk (15) ASST: Brian Rafalski (21)|
3 - 1 ANA
|Power Play %||17.1%||20.0%|
|% on Road||21.2%||18.8%|
|% at Home||13.5%||21.2%|
|Jonathan Ericsson Fighting (maj) against Troy Bodie|
|Troy Bodie Fighting (maj) against Jonathan Ericsson|
|Brad Stuart Hooking against Bobby Ryan|
|Kyle Chipchura Hooking against Pavel Datsyuk|
|Teemu Selanne Hi-sticking against Brad Stuart|
|Saku Koivu Hooking against Daniel Cleary|
|Derek Meech Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Tomas Holmstrom Holding the stick against Steve Eminger|