A sick Jonas Hiller missed Wednesday’s morning skate and is a game-time decision to play goalie for the Ducks against the Vancouver Canucks, meaning his 14-game winning streak may be next put to the test Friday against defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago.
Hiller “wasn’t feeling good this morning, so we said, ‘Stay home,’ ” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday. “We’ll know this afternoon, whether he still feels flu-ish or if he’s good to go.”
Rookie Frederik Andersen, the Ducks’ winning goalie at Nashville on Thursday who had returned to minor-league Norfolk to play two weekend games, was recalled and was first off the ice at Wednesday’s skate before fellow rookie John Gibson, indicating Andersen will start if Hiller’s a no-go.
“They had me play a couple games … when they explain stuff it makes it easier,” Andersen said about the back-and-forth. “I haven’t played that many games in December. It was nice to get some games in.”
Boudreau cracked he’ll check on Hiller every “half-hour,” to see if he can continue his pursuit of the NHL’s record 17-game winning streak compiled by Boston’s Gilles Gilbert in the 1975-76 season.
“If somebody’s not here, somebody’s got to come in and be just as good,” Boudreau said.
The NHL-leading Ducks (35-8-5) stand as one of five teams in NHL history to win 17 games in an 18-game span, and they can become one of just four teams in the past 40 years to remain unbeaten in regulation after 22 home games should they do so Wednesday.
The Canucks will face Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf, the team’s leading scorer who was struck on the foot by a puck in Saturday’s road win over the Phoenix Coyotes and missed Sunday’s 1-0 home win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Vancouver (24-14-9) nearly ended the Ducks’ unbeaten-in-regulation streak, which now stands at 21 games, on Jan. 5 when they held a one-goal lead before Nick Bonino scored with 87 seconds remaining to force overtime. Ducks forward Corey Perry scored to win in the final two seconds.
The Canucks are coming off a 1-0 loss to the Kings on Monday in a game in which the teams combined for 109 penalty minutes after a prior collision between Kings captain Dustin Brown and Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who hasn’t played since.
“The best way to prepare is be prepared for everything,” Boudreau said when asked if he expects a continuation of physical play.
Meanwhile, Ducks veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray, who has missed all season with a torn right wrist tendon suffered in preseason conditioning, is not expected to return by the originally scheduled mid-January timeline, and Ducks’ officials say the slow healing has left Souray “not close."
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