Jonas Hiller couldn't think of more perfect way to kick off his new 4 year, $18 million contract than by, well, playing perfect. The Anaheim Ducks starting goaltender blanked the Panthers, and made several spectacular saves en route to his second shut out of the season.
Hiller was scheduled to become a free agent at year end but decided Aneheim was the place to be for the extended near future. “I was going to check the market, but I like it a lot in Anaheim. I like the team and everything and I would love to stay,” he said by phone Saturday. “I think we have a lot of talent and a good future.”
Ryan Getzlaf opened up the scoring in the second period (after a scoreless opening period) off a turnover by Panther defender Keith Ballard deep in the offensive zone and beat Tomas Vokoun stick side from about 5 feet. No way Vokoun could have stopped that one.
The Ducks scored again with 0.5 seconds remaining in the second on a goal that went to video review. The ageless Teemu Selanne scored on the power play on a shot that initially appeared to have been stopped by Vokoun in front, but somehow found its way into the net before the period expired.
Corey Perry added a late third period goal for good measure. Getzlaf picked up is second point of the night by feeding Perry in the right faceoff circle.
The Panthers power play woes continued, failing to convert on 4 tries. 3 power play opporunities in the third period gave the Cats a chance to stay in the game but alas it was Hiller's night.
“We didn't do enough to earn goals tonight. We didn't win enough battles,” Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said. “They were hungrier than us. I think we showed up and if they would have handed it to us, we would have taken it, but we weren't prepared to go out and grab a win.”
ALL DEFENSE ALL THE TIME:
An odd moment happened after the Selanne goal was judged to be a good goal with 0.5 seconds late in the second period. The entire Panther bench minus Vokoun, Ballard, Jordan Leopold, Bryan Allen and Denis Seidenberg was already in the locker room. Hence the 4 Panther d-men took the faceoff (and lost it for the record) before the end of the period.
SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS:
David Booth lead the team in shots taken with 6. Most of the Panthers good chances were generated by him, leading to DeBoer moving him up to the fist line and moving Cory (very)Stillman down.
Tomas Vokoun was named the NHL's Third Star for the month of January. I've said this before, but Tomas Vokoun is good right now. Really good. I look forward to following Vokoun and the Czech Republic republic team in the Olympics.
$16.00 for a double vodka-club soda. Really? $16?? I could have bought a whole bottle for $20!!! Let alone 2 perfectly measured shots from a man who appeared to have Parkinson's disease (horrible I know but more vodka made it outside the cup than in). The limes were free at least.
The Panthers have 3 nights off and play host to the Calgary Flames Friday night (2/5/2010). Puck drops 7:30 PM.
IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW:
God, I miss Dave Chappelle.
About the Author
Written by Jack Powell
My name is Jack Powell. I'm 26 and work for a civil contracting company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I've been a Panther fan since the team was formed in 1993 and don't ever plan on not being one. Looking forward to see what new Panther GM Dale Tallon is going to do to rebuild this franchise and make us a Cup contender!!