Ducks goalies Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth have a friendly rivalry
As much as Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth keep things friendly sitting next to each other in the Ducks’ dressing room, each goaltender works fervently on the ice to take away the other’s playing time.
Last season, Fasth, in his rookie campaign, matched Hiller’s regular-season victory total (15) and was given the nod to start the season opener.
If Hiller felt his job security threatened after playing in 73 of 82 games in 2011-12, he was right.
But after the announcement Friday that Fasth had suffered a lower-body injury, Hiller stiffened to stop Phoenix’s Shane Doan on a final shootout try to secure the Ducks’ sixth consecutive victory, 3-2. Fasth’s injury will keep him out of Sunday’s game at Honda Center against the Dallas Stars.
The victory Friday makes Hiller 4-0 with a 1.45 goals-against average that is second-best in the NHL among starting goalies and a .954 save percentage that is No. 1 among starters.
“Definitely, you want to play and all I can do when I get the chance to play [is] play as well as I can,” Hiller said recently.
After giving up three goals in a victory at Minnesota in his first start, Hiller stopped all 34 shots in the Ducks’ 6-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Oct. 10, and stopped 30 of 31 shots in beating Ottawa on Oct. 13.
“I don’t worry too much about the whole thing, but if I get the call, I try to play as good as I can and help the team,” Hiller said. “Hopefully, that’s good enough to play the next game.”
With Fasth declared out after beating Calgary on Wednesday, Hiller gave up only a shot six seconds after the Ducks had killed a penalty and another that glanced off Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen in front of him.
“We try to support each other, but at the same time it’s a competition between us,” Hiller said.
“If the team plays well, it’s easier for both of us. If neither of us plays well, we’re in the same boat. We try to help each other out. We know it’s the success of the team that makes hockey fun. If you play and lose all the time, it’s no fun.”
VS. DALLAS STARS
When: 5 p.m.
Where: Honda Center.
On the Air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.
Record vs. Stars (2013): 3-2.
Etc.: Dallas, which played Saturday night at the Kings, is 7-3-1 in its last 11 games against the Ducks, with Jamie Benn contributing 14 points in 21 games against Anaheim.
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