Hiller blanks Oilers in return to lineup
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AMEDMONTON
-- As well as the Anaheim Ducks
have been playing on the road and as mightily as the Edmonton Oilers
have struggled at home, it's probably no surprise the Ducks filed out of Rexall Place on Sunday with a 4-0 win in the books.
The Ducks got two goals from Bobby Ryan
, singles from Teemu Selanne and Brandon McMillan
and 12 saves from Jonas Hiller
, with his 11th career shutout, on the way to their sixth consecutive road victory.
The loss leaves the Oilers winless in their last seven games at home and drops them to 7-17-4 at Rexall Place.
Hiller, in his first game back since returning from injured reserve, wasn't exactly overworked as the Ducks beat the Oilers for the eighth time in the last nine meetings dating back to March 31, 2009.
"I thought they had a couple of good opportunities," said Hiller. "Most of the shots they had were odd-man rushes and back-door plays. I thought I had a couple of good saves at the right moments."
Like the result, it's not a huge surprise the seemingly-ageless Selanne, on a roll with two goals and six assists in his last four games, got the winner behind Hiller's handiwork.
"We're just playing with a lot of confidence as a team right now," said Selanne. "It takes everybody. It doesn't matter if you play two minutes or you play 30 minutes.
"When everybody wants to do the job as good as they can, good things usually happen. I just think it's confidence. We believe we can win."
When Selanne, 40, re-directed a goalmouth pass from Jason Blake
behind Devan Dubnyk
to make it 1-0 just 34 seconds into the game, it was his 46th goal and 86th point in 73 career games against the Oilers.
"That's the reason I'm still playing. I don't feel 40," smiled Selanne, who has 53 points this season. "Of course, there's some days I don't feel that good, but I had those days when I was 20.
"I'm still enjoying the game and that's why I'm still playing it. I can skate. I feel I can play well."
Twelve shots isn't going to win a lot of games. Neither is an Edmonton power play that went scoreless in two attempts and is now 0-for-24 over the last seven games and just 3-for-82 in its last 23 games.
"There's a lot of parts to our game tonight that certainly need to improve," said Taylor Hall
. "Myself included on that first shift. It was a tough start for us.
"Up until about three games ago, we had been playing very well and just not getting results. Now, we're kind of getting what we deserve. It's all up to us. We know that we have it in here. We know we can improve."
The Oilers generated just five shots in the first period, four more in the second and three in the third.
"I just think we have to challenge ourselves to be a lot better," Hall said. "I truly believe everyone in this room cares and everyone is giving it their all, but at some point it has to turn into results.
"It can't be all try. It's got to be some smarts . . . if the fans are doubting our care level, that's certainly wrong."
When McMillan made it goals in three straight games with the re-direction of a Dan Sexton
pass 15:24 into the second and Ryan upped it to 3-0 by tapping his own rebound behind Dubnyk 74 seconds later, Hiller had more than even margin to lock down Anaheim's six straight road win.
"It wasn't as easy as it looked," Hiller said. "Not getting any shots is never easy. After a couple of weeks now of not having played in a real game, it probably makes it even more difficult.
"In the end, I thought everybody worked hard, so I'm not going to complain about not getting too many shots."