Ducks Radio Analyst
CHICAGO – The Ducks will be holding their collective breath at least for a while after goaltender Jonas Hiller
suffered a head injury during Saturday’s late-afternoon practice at a practice rink near the United Center.
After arriving in Chicago, where they will open a three-game road swing against the Blackhawks on Sunday night, the Ducks took to the ice, only to lose Hiller midway through practice when a shot from a teammate struck the goalie squarely on his facemask.
Hiller went down immediately, desperately shook the catching glove off his right hand and grabbed for his face. A nasty cut near Hiller’s eyebrows was the obvious damage.
After receiving immediate attention from head athletic trainer Tim Clark, Hiller was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago for precautionary reasons and received four sutures. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated tomorrow morning.
“It’s unfortunate that those things happen,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “I didn’t see it actually happen. I was doing something else or I wasn’t paying attention to that specific end of the ice.
“He’s obviously cut. We’ll have an assessment done. He’ll probably have an X-ray to make sure there are no broken bones or anything. That’s all I can say at this point.”
Hiller is coming off a 27-save effort in Friday night’s 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars at Honda Center. The decision marked Hiller’s fifth consecutive victory, during which he has compiled a 2.35 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Hiller is 8-5-1 overall this season, with 2.84 and .919 numbers, respectively.
Should Hiller be unable to face the Blackhawks, the Ducks would turn to backup goalie Curtis McElhinney, who stopped 27 shots to record his first NHL shutout in Wednesday night’s 1-0 triumph over the New York Islanders at Honda Center.
McElhinney is 2-2-0 with a 2.98 goals-against average and .924 save percentage this season. NOTES
The Ducks' 6-game win streak is their longest since Feb. 17 - Mar. 3, 2008 and equals the longest current streak in the NHL (also WSH, who plays at BUF tonight). It also equals the second-longest in club history and is one shy of the club record, which was set in 1999 (Feb. 20 - Mar. 7)...a look at the longest win streaks in club history:
LONGEST WINNING STREAKS IN CLUB HISTORY
7 Feb. 20 - Mar. 7, 1999
*6 Nov. 3 - 12, 2010
6 Feb. 17 - Mar. 3, 2008
6 Jan. 7 - Jan. 18, 2008
6 Mar. 17 – Mar. 25, 2006
6 Jan. 23 – Feb. 6, 2002
6 Mar. 8 – Mar. 22, 1996