Ducks confident they 'know how to play' against Blackhawks

Ducks confident they 'know how to play' against Blackhawks
December 6, 2013, 10:15 pm
Share This Post
Nina Falcone

The Ducks thought Friday's win was theirs shortly after overtime began, but Mark Fistric's goal was called off, delaying Anaheim's eventual 3-2 shootout victory over the Blackhawks.

At the end of a game that Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller called "not the prettiest to watch," the Ducks tallied their fifth consecutive win over the defending Stanley Cup champions, dating back to the 2011-12 season.

It was that success over their last few matchups that fueled the Ducks' confidence coming into the game.

"A lot of the guys (from last season) are still the same guys on our team," Hiller said. "We come in here, we know we can have success, that's already a mental advantage of coming here and knowing you haven't won points in forever, so that helps. I think we knew we'd be playing one of the best teams in the league and we knew we'd have to work hard and that's what we did. That's why we had success."

Friday's game didn't feature a spectacular performance from either team. The Blackhawks appeared tired, still coming off their 13-day Circus Trip and two quick games against Dallas and Minnesota; both 4-3 losses.

[RELATED: Did fatigue play a factor in the Blackhawks' loss?]

Although the Ducks didn't dominate the game, they were the team that grinded it out until the end, and they recorded two points following their nine-round shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings just three nights ago.

"I think we kinda know how to play against these guys," Corey Perry said. "We have a lot of great teams in the West and they're one of them. This week's been a test of our will and how much character we have, and taking these guys to a shootout's pretty good."

Despite the tough week the Blackhawks have had, they still stand atop the league standings with 45 points. But the competition in the Western Conference continues to heat up, and the Ducks are now just two points behind and tied with the San Jose Sharks for second place.

"I think (the competition on Friday night) lived up to everything," Perry said. "It was a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of great chances for both teams and it was a tight defensive game. I think there's under 25 shots for both teams and those are game where you have to buckle down on defense and be ready to play."

Both teams had their good moments on Friday. Both also had their not-so-good moments. The Ducks did what the Blackhawks have done so well in the past this season — find a way to win late in the game.

It wasn't the prettiest, but Anaheim found a way to get it done and closed the gap in the standings even further.

"It was a weird game, we had a lot of bouncing pucks or off somebody, but I think everyone was battling hard and making the area tight," Hiller said. "It wasn't the prettiest game to watch, but it was intense and there were scoring chances on both sides. If you have two top teams in the league playing each other, it's kind of what you expect.

"Those are not easy games to play as a goalie, but I think overall we were working hard and fighting hard. That's why we got away with two points."