National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network|
Sunday, October 16th
(All times eastern)
St. Louis Blues (2-2-0) at Anaheim Ducks (2-1-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A healthy return for Jonas Hiller could make the Ducks
contenders once again in the Pacific Division. The Blues have certainly seen
just how good the goaltender can be.
Hiller looks to lead Anaheim to a third straight victory this evening as it
hosts St. Louis at the Honda Center.
The 29-year-old Hiller missed the majority of last season's second half due to
vertigo, but has started all three of the Ducks' games so far this year. After
yielding four goals on 25 shots in a season-opening loss to the Sabres in
Finland, the Swiss has stopped 45 of the 46 shots he has faced over back-to-
back wins against the Rangers (in Sweden) and the Sharks.
Hiller turned aside all 31 shots faced at home on Friday to lift Anaheim to a
1-0 win over the San Jose and record his 12th career shutout.
"I felt comfortable tonight, but it was a great game by our whole team. It's
nice to get these kind of games early in the season," said Hiller, who is
5-2-0 with a 3.44 goals-against average in seven career starts versus the
Maxime Macenauer's first career goal at 13:59 in the first period was the only
offense Hiller would need or get as the Ducks began a string of playing four
of their next five at home.
Though defenseman Toni Lydman made his season debut and logged 20 minutes of
ice time after sitting out the first two games due to shoulder surgery, the
Ducks lost forward Jason Blake for three months after he suffered a deep
laceration just above his left wrist during the third period of Friday's win.
Blake need sutures to close the wound and suffered tendon damage that will
require surgery on Monday.
"Jason is resting at home and doing very well," said Ducks general manager Bob
Murray on Saturday. "This was an unfortunate, freak accident, but we are
pleased to hear that Jason is expected to make a full and complete recovery.
He's a real character person and teammate, and we look forward to having him
back in our lineup when he's ready."
The Blues have split their first four games of the season and are coming off
last night's 4-2 win over the Sharks. Kent Huskins and Alexander Steen scored
in the third period to erase a one-goal deficit and David Backes sealed the
victory with an empty-net goal.
Brian Elliott stopped 34 shots to pick up the victory in his first game in a
Blues uniform. Jaroslav Halak had started St. Louis' first three contests of
the season, going 1-2-0 with a 2.70 GAA and .857 save percentage.
"We just knew we had to capitalize on our chances and the guys did a great job
doing that," said Elliott. "We kind of got away from our game a little bit in
the second period, but first period we came out really good and took it to
them and that's the type of hockey we need to play and we want to play."
St. Louis has split the first two of a four-game swing and will visit Los
Angeles on Tuesday. It will likely finish up the trip without Andy McDonald,
who returned to St. Louis following Thursday's loss to the Stars to have a
head injury further evaluated.
Though these two clubs have split their four-game series in each of the past
two seasons, the Ducks have won three straight and seven of the past eight
played at home. In face, St. Louis owns just two wins and a tie in its past 16
trips to Anaheim.
10/16 10:31:50 ET