Not many teams would consider sitting an All-Star goaltender for very long, but Jonas Hiller's play is giving the Anaheim Ducks an option that's hard to resist.
Though No. 1 goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is set to start in the All-Star game, the Ducks may want to consider putting Hiller in net for the third straight game when they visit the Los Angeles Kings in the finale of a home-and-home series Thursday night.
Giguere will start for the Western Conference in the All-Star game on Jan. 25, but Hiller has been receiving plenty of playing time for Anaheim (21-15-5). He is 10-6-1 with a 2.06 goals-against average in 19 games, and ranks among the league leaders with three shutouts - one more than Giguere.
Hiller has made two straight starts, shutting out Phoenix on Sunday night before a strong effort in a 3-1 win over Los Angeles (16-17-6) two days later.
A start in this home-and-home finale is not out of the question for Hiller, who is 4-0-0 with a 0.65 GAA in five games against Los Angeles. He shut out the Kings on Nov. 16 in his other appearance against them this season, making 29 saves as Anaheim won 2-0.
The Ducks have beaten the Kings three straight times, with Los Angeles scoring a total of one goal. Kyle Quincey's goal in the second period Tuesday ended the Kings' 143:06 scoring drought against the Ducks, going back to 18:48 of the third period of Los Angeles' 6-3 win on Oct. 14.
"Against L.A., you have to play with a lot of patience because they just wait until you make a mistake and lose the puck," Hiller said.
Hiller only had to face 18 shots Tuesday, with the Ducks' defense smothering a Kings team that has scored three goals in its last three games. Los Angeles is 2-for-14 (14.3 percent) on the power play during that stretch.
Anaheim got power-play goals from Samuel Pahlsson and Bobby Ryan en route to its second straight win.
Pahlsson, who snapped a tie with 10:15 to play, joined the first power-play unit after Corey Perry was suspended four games for elbowing Philadelphia's Claude Giroux on Friday. He has been on the ice for all four goals the Ducks have scored with the man advantage in their last two games.
"I'm usually not out there a lot on the power play, but I try to help out when I get my chance out there," said Pahlsson, who scored his first power-play goal since the 2003-04 season.
For Los Angles, Quincey's goal was also scored on a power play. The defenseman had three assists in his previous three contests.
Kings winger Dustin Brown, named to the West All-Star team Wednesday, has been held off the scoresheet in six straight games. Brown has 13 goals and 13 assists in 39 games.
The Ducks traded forward Brad May to Toronto on Wednesday for a conditional 2010 sixth-round draft pick. The 37-year-old May, a member of Anaheim's 2007 Stanley Cup-winning squad, had five assists and 28 penalty minutes in 20 games this season.