ANAHEIM – A Ducks team that has been pouring goals at will lately found a way to win on a night when scoring was at a minimum.
The Ducks, without the services of captain Ryan Getzlaf tonight, only managed one goal, but that was enough as Jonas Hiller shut out the visiting Red Wings as the Ducks continued their dominance at Honda Center.
In front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,375, Anaheim hung on to win its 17th out of the last 18 and improve to a jaw-dropping 19-0-2 at home. Anaheim came into the game having scored four goals or more in six straight contests, but tonight leaned on a stifling defense and Hiller's 22 saves.
"Sometimes you have to bear down and play good defense, and squeak games out," said Andrew Cogliano, who scored the game's only goal in the middle period. "I thought it was an even game for the most part. We were able to really neutralize some of their top guys and get a goal."
The league-leading Ducks become the fifth team in NHL history to win 17+ games in an 18-game span (17-1-0). Anaheim is 9-0-0 at Honda Center and 8-1-0 on the road during the stretch, including a league-high seven-game winning streak overall.
The Ducks are also the fifth team in 40 NHL seasons (since 1973-74) to record points in each of their first 21+ home games of a season (19-0-2). The Ducks’ 21-game streak is also their longest home standings point streak in club history at any point during a season (previous best was 14 games).
The only goal of the first 40 minutes came from Cogliano at 12:42 of the second period, with a big assist from Saku Koivu. As the Red Wings tried to clear the puck, Koivu knocked it down to keep it in the zone, then got it back and made a pinpoint feed to Cogliano on the doorstep.
It was retribution for Koivu, who took three penalties in the game’s first 22 minutes, only to watch his Ducks teammates kill all of them off.
"That line was really good," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau of the threesome of Cogliano, Koivu and Kyle Palmieri. "They’re out there to shut down [Henrik] Zetterberg’s line and they end up scoring the goal to win the game. That’s the kind of play we’ve been getting from Cogs and Sak. I thought Palmieri did a really good job on the right side tonight."
Getzlaf was noticeably absent from the Anaheim attack after taking a puck to the foot/ankle last night in Phoenix and sitting out this game (he’s listed as day-to-day).
Detroit's best chance to score in the late going came with around four minutes left in the third, when Justin Abdelkader's shot beat Hiller but clanged off the inside of the far post. The Wings pulled goalie Petr Mrazek in the final minute, but couldn’t get the puck past Hiller, who was once again outstanding.
"It shows we can win different ways," Cogliano said. "When it comes down to it, we have guys who are willing to pay the price and get the job done. At the end of the day, Hillsy’s been the top player for us. When you have him in the net with full confidence, it’s tough to score on him. It felt like every line brought something well to the table offensively and defensively."
Hiller extended his club-record and career-high winning streak to 14, which ties the second-longest in NHL history in a single season. The last NHL goaltender to win 14 consecutive decisions in a single season was Pittsburgh’s Tom Barrasso, who won 14 straight from Mar. 9-Apr. 9, 1993.
"My save percentage and goals-against average isn’t the best over this stretch, but it’s the wins that count," Hiller said. "That’s what keeps you happy. It’s great to get a game with no goals against, but in the end, it’s the win that I enjoy most."
This is also Anaheim’s ninth consecutive home win. This is the second time the Ducks have had a HOME winning streak of eight-or-more games this year (the other was an eight-game streak from Oct. 10-Nov. 10). The last team to record two separate such streaks was the Calgary Flames in 2006-07 (10, Nov. 7-Dec. 12, 2006 and 8, Jan. 4-Feb. 3, 2007).
Hiller also recorded his 19th career shutout and third of the season tonight, tying him for third among NHL goaltenders this season. In addition, he is now tied for second in the NHL with 23 wins
The win tonight is the seventh straight for the Ducks. This marks the club’s third streak of at least seven games this year (9, Dec. 7-28; 7, Oct. 5-20). The last team to record three separate winning streaks of seven-or-more games in a single season was the Detroit Red Wings during the 2007-08 season. (9, Oct. 18-Nov. 9, 2007; 8, Jan. 17-Feb. 5, 2008; 7, Nov. 27-Dec. 10, 2007)
Andrew Cogliano scored his 15th goal of the season (second GWG), just three goals shy of tying his career high. He now has points in five of his last seven games (4-1=5) and six goals in his last 10 contests.
Kyle Palmieri tallied his 11th assist of the season, tying a career high set in 2012-13. He is currently on a two-game point/assist streak (0-2=2) and has points in five of his last seven games (2-4=6).
Teemu Selanne appeared in his 1,424th career NHL game tonight, tying him for 26th all-time in games played with Pat Verbeek.
Saku Koivu’s reached the 300-game milestone as an Anaheim Duck in tonight’s game, while Mathieu Perreault appeared in his 200th NHL contest.
Tonight’s attendance was 17,375 including standing room, Anaheim’s sixth consecutive sellout.