Jonas Hiller says Ducks can't depend on comeback victories

Jonas Hiller says Ducks can't depend on comeback victories
Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller says the team suffers from a lack of confidence once it falls behind on the scoreboard. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

The Ducks can still boast about a 16-8-1 record when their opponent scores first, but Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller says the team needs to stop banking on that figure.

In five of their last eight games, the Ducks have trailed first. They've lost four times.


With the Columbus Blue Jackets (28-23-4) coming to Honda Center on Monday night, Hiller says his team's Saturday-night 2-0 loss to Dallas was hopefully the low point, as the team couldn't shake out of the doldrums through the first two periods.

"We had some chances in the third, but [Dallas goalie Dan] Ellis played well," Hiller said after the Ducks (40-12-5) suffered their first shutout loss.

Coming from behind "worked for us earlier, but at some point you can't always think you're going to come from behind in the third. I don't think we have played a great first period in awhile. It would've been great to get that confidence.

"We have to do a better job to prepare ourselves to be ready from the first puck drop. Now, you lose one or two games, you don't have that confidence you can come back, things don't go your way anymore.

"I don't think anybody's happy in here. … The confidence we've had has been pushed down a little bit."

Olympic-sized issue?

Seven Ducks will leave to participate in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next week, and the others will have a near three-week-long break.

That's a fact that can distract.

Hiller said the NHL-leading team discussed after Saturday night's loss how "we can't just let it slip here; we have to come to the game with the same urgency and will to win we've had.

"You see that finish line coming up before the break; that never helps in the situation we're at. But other teams have that going on too, so we can't use it as an excuse."

Beyond Columbus' presence with a winning record, the defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks come to Anaheim on Wednesday.

"We have to be ready to play at a high level, up to our standards," Hiller said. "Three games left, we have to want to win them all. You don't want to go into the break with a bad feeling. Let's get back on the winning ways, prove to ourself Monday we can do better."'




When: 7.

On the air: TV: KDOC; Radio: 830.

Etc.: Columbus is 11-4 in its last 15 games, and leading scorer Ryan Johansen, 21, has three goals and two assists in the Blue Jackets' last four. … The Ducks recalled center David Steckel from Norfolk (Va.). Steckel, 31, has appeared in four games for the Ducks this season and is scoreless.

Twitter: @latimespugmire