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Ducks stick with Hiller in goal for Game 3

by Corey Masisak

DETROIT -- Bruce Boudreau will stick with his No. 1 goaltender for Game 3 of the Anaheim Ducks' Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Boudreau was asked Friday about Jonas Hiller's performance in the Ducks' 5-4 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at Honda Center, and he didn't bother with any gamesmanship.

"He's playing tomorrow," Boudreau said. "I thought there was some great saves and some saves he should have had, but I don't think on a couple of them the work in front of him was very good either.

"If you start pulling guys after they make one mistake, then they'll be afraid to play the game. They've got to be able to play without fear of things happening to them."

Hiller made 27 saves Thursday after turning aside 21 of 22 in a Game 1 victory. Detroit scored three times on the power play, and defenseman Francois Beauchemin said the Ducks left people open in front of Hiller too often, including on Gustav Nyquist's overtime goal.

After the Red Wings built a 4-1 lead, the Ducks were forced to take chances and left Hiller to keep them in the game. He made several highlight-reel saves to help his club in the comeback effort.

"He made three that I can think of off the top of my head at the end of the game that allowed us to be where we were," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We have all the faith in the world in [Hiller] and that he will bounce back for us."

Boudreau said, "When we got it to 4-2, he made a huge save right off the bat to keep it there because 5-2 we probably don't come back from that and it could have gone even further south."

Boudreau has some history of being willing to switch goaltenders in a first-round series. Twice he went from Jose Theodore to Semyon Varlamov while he was coach of the Washington Capitals; in each case, Theodore had been the clear No. 1 during the regular season.

Hiller split time with first-year goaltender Viktor Fasth this season, to the point where which netminder Boudreau would pick for Game 1 wasn't a sure thing until late in the campaign.

Hiller was 15-6-4 in 26 games this season with a .913 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average. He was out of the lineup the last time Anaheim was in the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of vertigo, but Hiller did play very well in 13 postseason games in 2008-09.

"We've always known [Hiller] is a great goalie," Getzlaf said. "There is no doubt. He has stolen a lot of hockey games for us in different situations. I've been with him a few years now and I know the goalie he can be and I know the bounce-back game he will have too."

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