Ducks have time to ponder next opponent after first-round sweep
The Ducks looked to the second round Thursday and couldn’t miss who might be awaiting.
Calgary goaltender Jonas Hiller was in Anaheim’s net for 326 games before this season, when he left via free agency.
“So far, Hilly’s played great, and we’ve seen him play great in our organization. When he’s on, he’s tremendous,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “There would be some irony to it. There’s always strange stories. I’m sure you guys would have a hoot over the stories you can tell.”
Hiller won 29 games for the Ducks last season, including 14 in a row at one point. However, three losses late in the season sent him to the bench for most of the playoffs, with current goalies Frederik Andersen and John Gibson taking over.
Hiller, in relief, helped the Ducks clinch a first-round series victory at Dallas last season.
For Calgary, the 33-year-old won 26 regular-season games and was 1-1 with a no-decision against the Ducks.
The Ducks had just four games in 17 days before the playoffs.
And after sweeping the first-round series from the Winnipeg Jets in four games, the Ducks could be in for a long layoff as they await the Flames-Canucks winner.
The NHL generally prefers to wait for all first-round series to be complete before starting the second round, so that could mean the Western Conference top seed won’t play again until ... well, some time next week.
“We’ll follow the same guidelines as we did to prepare for Winnipeg,” Boudreau said.
Boudreau said he expects the time will allow Gibson and center Nate Thompson to fully recover from unspecified upper-body injuries they suffered during the final week of the regular season. Both will practice Friday at Honda Center, Boudreau said.
In addition to center Ryan Kesler‘s momentous three goals — all in the third period — Boudreau said the physicality of defensemen Clayton Stoner and Simon Despres, the sharpness of forwards Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano and the steadiness of Andersen were keys to the sweep.
“Over those four games, we’ve played as consistently good as we have over any four games — keeping the goals down, scoring, the power play,” Boudreau said. “Everything was going well.”
Forward Emerson Etem, who scored a highlight-reel goal in Game 4, said afterward, “We were just so relentless and were nonstop throughout the entire series. We’ve got all-stars. We’ve got all-world players in our dressing room and everyone just feeds off of it.
“We’ve got a great mix of older veterans and young guys and younger guys just feed off of ‘Kes’ and obviously Corey [Perry] and Ryan [Getzlaf]. They set the tone each and every game. You know they’re going to show up and it’s our job to follow them.”
Tickets for sale
The Ducks announced individual game tickets for the second-round series will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m., starting at $70 apiece.
Four tickets per email address/home address will be allowed, and tickets can be purchased at anaheimducks.com, through Ticketmaster at (714) 703-2545, or at the Honda Center box office.
Times staff writer Lisa Dillman contributed to this report
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