VANCOUVER, BC -- Deep in enemy territory, with the Vancouver Canucks hoping to draw first blood on home turf, the Calgary Flames needed Jonas Hiller to be at his best in Game 1.
He did just that.
The Swiss netminder didn't flinch in the face of a potent Canucks offence, the raucous crowd, or the derisive 'Hillllllller' chants that rained down on him after Bo Horvat was able to break a scoreless draw mid-way through the second period.
Hiller remained calm, cool, and collected throughout a frenetic Game 1 and was able to preserve a 2-1 victory over the home team with plenty of timely saves.
"Early on, the pace was unbelievable. They had the better chances," Bob Hartley said of Hiller's steady play to open up Game 1. "Jonas Hiller gave us some big saves at the right time, kept us in the game."
In the opening stanza, Hiller had to contend with the Sedins and Alex Burrows buzzing around the net. One of Hiller's best saves in the first period came at the midway point when he made a superb stick save on Burrows, who tried to cash in at the side of the net. Hiller was able to bring his stick up just in time to deflect the puck over him and out of harms way.
In the second frame, the Flames outshot the Canucks 10-4 but a lucky bounce off a Horvat shot managed to evade Hiller. He didn't get rattled, however, and came up with another strong performance in the third period.
Early on in the final period, Hiller made a huge glove save on Daniel Sedin, who sent an absolute rocket on net. A few minutes later, the netminder made dazzling back-to-back stops on Vancouver's top line.
Burrows carried the puck into the Flames zone, dished it off to Henrik Sedin, who promptly passed it back to his brother, and while Hiller made the initial stop on D. Sedin, he was unable to hang onto the puck.
The rebound bounced back out to Christopher Tanev, who was perched high in the slot, and the blueliner hammered a shot on net. Hiller gloved it down and threw himself over the puck to quell the Canucks surge.
The 33-year-old ended up making 29 stops in Game 1 and was named the first star in the Flames 2-1 win.