Sixty two seconds from a 9-0 start at home, the Ducks made a stunning dark turn into misfortune and now find themselves winless in five consecutive games.
Then, in overtime, Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy tried to clear a puck in front of Hiller, only to see it accidentally strike teammate Corey Perry and careen back inside the goal to give the Devils a 4-3 victory Wednesday at Honda Center.
"Bad-luck play," Lovejoy said. "Rebound in front of the net, I'm trying to clear … fired it right off Corey's shin pads. Obviously, wish it didn't happen.
"It's even tougher to swallow that we're on a losing streak. Up 3-2 with very little time left. … Incredibly unfortunate ending. That's a game we need. We are a desperate team right now and that's an unacceptable way to lose."
The Ducks (15-6-3) went 0-3-1 on a trip that marked a run of 12 of 15 games away, but they were uplifted about being home, and rallied from a flawed call earlier in the game to take a 3-2 lead on center Ryan Getzlaf's 12th goal of the season in the second period.
The Ducks' interest in building upon a 3-2 lead in the third was suspect considering they didn't even take a shot on goal until 6:25 remained in the period.
"Probably played a little too passive," Hiller said.
"We missed two total open nets … you knew something negative was going to happen," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Those things happen in sports. It was us tonight."
Getzlaf, Hiller and Boudreau chalked up Lovejoy's play, 1:58 into overtime, as "an accident" and "bad bounce."
"It's not losing games that bugs you so much, it's the way you lose them," Getzlaf said. "We played a pretty solid game, but we've got to be able to be a great team to close those games out."
"It's not that he wasn't working, it's a bad break," Getzlaf said. "Rough way to lose it."
Perry illustrated the Ducks' frustration by swiping the puck, credited as a goal for New Jersey's Travis Zajac, all the way down to the other end of the ice as the Devils improved to 8-8-5.
The Ducks earlier overcame hard feelings when a four-minute high-sticking call on Teemu Selanne in the first period was followed by two New Jersey goals.
Greene impressively sold the accident, barking "Four minutes!" to officials as blood poured from his lip.
With a two-man advantage early in the second, Ducks center Nick Bonino capitalized by making it 2-2 before Getzlaf blasted the go-ahead goal.
Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin crashed head-first into the boards during the game and didn't return. Boudreau said the veteran is day-to-day.