Jonas Hiller brilliant in emergency start for Ducks
NOV 22, 2013 9:52p ET
A few seconds later, the captain looked up at the scoreboard and came to with the sirens blaring, signaling the game winner in the net. With 5.2 seconds left, Getzlaf knocked in his own rebound past a diving Ben Bishop for the Ducks' 1-0 win.
"I just knew there wasn't much time left so I just wanted to go on one last rush and try and get one at the net," Getzlaf said. "I ended up getting two cracks at it and threw it over his shoulder and kind of blacked out after that."
It was Getzlaf's fifth game-winner of the season, a league-best mark. The goal capped nearly 65 minutes of a tough, defensive battle. The Ducks outshot the Lightning 42-31 but goaltenders Bishop and Jonas Hiller played brilliantly, creating a playoff-type atmosphere at the Honda Center.
Even more impressive was the play of the Ducks' Hiller, who made an emergency start when scheduled starting goalie Viktor Fasth was injured during warm-ups.
Hiller wasn't even announced as the starter when he was on the ice, only being told while he was walking out of the tunnel that he would be starting in place of Fasth.
Luckily for Hiller, the Ducks honored former player and new Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer before the game. The few extra minutes it took for the former defenseman to drop the ceremonial first puck was enough for Hiller to get his head in the game.
"I'm glad we honored Scotty, so I had a few more minutes to mentally prepare," Hiller said. "You don’t really have time to think about it. You're right there and all the focus is on getting into the game and making the next start."
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau felt it was the goaltender's finest performance of the season.
"I didn't think anyone was going to score on those goalies," Boudreau said. "That was as good a goaltending display from both goaltenders that I’ve seen in a very, very long time."
"It's incredible poise," Getzlaf said. "He wasn't even supposed to start tonight and he stepped in and played unbelievable and that shows in our locker room."
Boudreau declined to comment on the specifics of Fasth's injury. He has previously missed time this season with a groin strain and is expected to be out through the weekend forcing the club to bring up another goaltender to back up Hiller in the interim.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for Anaheim and put the Ducks back at the top of the Western Conference standings with 35 points. Tampa Bay was sent home winless on its four-game West Coast road trip. The Lightning began the trip as the top team in the Eastern Conference but four games against the top half of the West dropped them to third place.
For Getzlaf, it was his third goal in as many games and his eighth point in four games. It was simply business as usual for the anchor of the Western Conference's top team.
"Getzy plays hard and he is the leader," Boudreau said. "I think it was only rightful that him, or I thought maybe ( Andrew) Cogliano would score. Both teams, for a 0-0 game, had so many chances. It was entertaining."
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