ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Ducks accomplished a remarkable feat Sunday night at the Honda Center, and it wasn’t taking down the league’s second-best road team with only a single goal.
With the Ducks’ 1-0 win over the Red Wings at the Honda Center, Anaheim has now won 17 out of the last 18 games, becoming just the fifth team in NHL history to do so. The last time it was done was during the 2009-10 season and it was another Bruce Boudreau-led team — the Capitals — and just like the last time around, the head coach isn’t hyping it up.
"The best way is not to think about it," Boudreau said. "We make it a daily, one-day-at-a-time thing. Our schedule is extremely tough the next two weeks and we can’t take it any other way.
"We’re not getting that high."
The undeniable locker room leader has been captain Ryan Getzlaf, who did not play Sunday after taking a puck off his foot in Saturday night’s game in Phoenix. Getzlaf is listed as day-to-day and Jonas Hiller was around Sunday to command the net much as he has done all season.
Hiller earned his 14th-straight victory and logged his first shutout of the 18 games and was forced to defend the net with only a one-goal lead the entire third period after Andrew Cogliano scored midway through the second period.
"There weren’t too many great scoring chances on either side, it was definitely like a playoff kind of game," Hiller said. "I knew it was probably not going to be a high-scoring game like we have had in the last few."
The goal was set up by a Red Wings turnover. Kyle Palmieri intercepted a pass near the right circle and found Saku Koivu near the net. Koivu zipped a pass to Cogliano for the tip in past Petr Mrazek.
Hiller and the defense made the goal stand.
"We’ve been scoring a lot of goals that masks sometimes deficiencies defensively. To be able to get a 1-0 win and get it like that, where you had to defend in the third period I thought was really good."
#NHLDucks Koivu on the win: "These are the games we need to learn how to win. We had a great defensive game tonight." #ANAvsDET
The win was the ninth-straight at home and the Honda Center still has yet to see a regulation loss (19-0-2 at home, 35-8-5 overall). Orange County has caught on as the team enjoyed its sixth-straight sellout with fans even snapping up standing room tickets. The team is not only the best show in town but it’s the best show in the league (75 points), extending the lead over second-place Chicago by five points with the win.
"It’s the confidence that we have," Hiller said. "We know what it takes. If we can score more goals, we can take it, but if we just score one goal we find a way to play really solid in our own zone, don’t give up too much and one goal is enough."