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Hiller makes it 12 straight as Ducks beat Bruins

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- The logo on Jonas Hiller's chest has a winged "D," but it might as well be Superman's "S" at this point.

Hiller has been the common denominator in the Anaheim Ducks' franchise-record home streak. He made 30 saves to lead the Ducks to a 5-2 win against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night in front of a standing-room only crowd of 17,238 at Honda Center.

In a potential Stanley Cup Final preview, Hiller led Anaheim through yet another poor start before the Ducks found their game with a three-goal second period and withstood a Boston push in the third to remain the only team without a regulation loss at home (18-0-2).

Hiller won his franchise-record 12th straight start. He stopped all 16 shots in the first period, highlighted by a larcenous left-to-right glove save on Brad Marchand.

"Outstanding," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "In that first period, it makes the difference in the hockey game. A team like that, if they get a couple goals in that first period, they probably shut you down and don't allow anything. Our group did a good job responding to our goaltender."

Hiller's one flaw is that he lets in the occasional soft goal, but that has tightened up significantly during this run.

"Things are going well, and having that confidence right now that team is trusting me and the coach is trusting me," said Hiller, who became the first NHL goalie to win 12th straight starts in a single season since Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils in 1997. "That's definitely way easier for your mental game as a goalie."

Boston pulled to 3-2 at 7:19 of third when Dougie Hamilton fired a loose puck through a scrum. Jarome Iginla crashed the net on David Krejci's between-the-legs pass from the corner to get the Ducks scrambling.

Anaheim came back with goals by Nick Bonino at 14:23 and Mathieu Perreault's second of the game at 17:29. Boston had a chance to tie it on a power play, but Marchand negated it with an interference penalty when he kicked Daniel Winnik's stick away.

Boston opened a challenging California swing with 11 forwards before the puck dropped because Milan Lucic was scratched with an illness, according to the team. Carl Soderberg took Lucic's place on the top line and the Bruins dressed seven defensemen.

"We knew they are a strong home team," goalie Tuukka Rask said. "But in the first period, we totally outshot them and outchanced them and even continued in the second. But we took a couple of penalties and ended up taking too many penalties and it cost us. It's one of those games, no matter what they do they just score. Today they got those bounces despite our good effort."

The matchup featured an immovable object/irresistible force contest; Anaheim and Boston are ranked second in the NHL in 5-on-5 scoring and 5-on-5 goals against, respectively. But Anaheim dominated with special teams in a second-period show.

After going 1-for-32 in a 10-game stretch, the Ducks converted their third straight power play with two scores in a 3:24 span of the second period. Perreault's snap shot off Teemu Selanne's pass beat Rask high at 5:53, and Corey Perry swooped in to bury Bonino's rebound for his 24th goal at 8:29.

Perreault and Perry let loose with big fist pumps. In between their goals, Mark Fistric hip-checked Matt Fraser and the Ducks were in full swagger. Andrew Cogliano then put his foot on the gas with his second shorthanded goal of the season.

Cogliano and Winnik broke up Reilly Smith's pass to Hamilton, and Winnik nudged a short pass that Cogliano put past by Rask’s right pad at 17:10.

Anaheim might need to lean on Hiller even more after it placed defenseman Bryan Allen on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Dustin Penner is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Boston didn't allow a shot until nearly 10 minutes into the game and had a 16-3 advantage.

"It is unfortunate that the final score doesn't indicate it, but I thought we played a good solid game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "In the first period, I thought we should have come out with at least a couple-goal lead with the quality chances that we had. Unfortunately, those power-play goals that they got in the second period got them a comfortable lead."

Daniel Paille squeezed a shot through Hiller with 16 seconds remaining in the second to make it 3-1. Justin Florek recorded his first NHL point on the play.

Selanne moved past Chris Chelios for 38th on the all-time assists list with 764.

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