Hiller stops 45 shots, Ducks shut out Bruins 3-0

Posted Dec. 20, 2010, at 10:25 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 20, 2010, at 11:50 p.m.

BOSTON — What Jonas Hiller liked best about his second shutout of the season was the way his defense helped him out.

“If we play like that every single game, with guys out there blocking shots, we’ve got a good chance to win,” the Anaheim goalie said Monday night after stopping 45 shots to lead the Ducks to a 3-0 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Rookie Brandon McMillan had his first career multipoint game to help Anaheim snap a two-game skid on a season-high seven-game road trip. Lubomir Visnovsky and Corey Perry also scored and Teemu Selanne had two assists for the Ducks, who play in Buffalo on Tuesday.

It was the eighth shutout of Hiller’s career.

“Jonas was in a zone and really stole the show,” Ducks forward Bobby Ryan said.

Tim Thomas made 22 saves for Boston but fell to 15-4-3 on the season. Three of his four regulation losses have come when the Bruins failed to score.

“Our goalies have been battling back there for us every night,” Boston forward Marc Savard said. “But we’ve got to give them some support.”

With the season not even halfway over, coach Claude Julien noted that the Bruins could have tied Northeast Division-leading Montreal with a victory and moved into third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Instead, Boston is in the eighth spot for a playoff race that won’t begin in earnest for another couple of months.

“When you’ve got a chance to move up five spots, it’s unacceptable,” Julien said. “This game’s about emotion. I think that’s the thing that really irked me. We should have been excited to play this game and move up five.”

McMillan doubled his career totals with one goal and one assist. He gave the Ducks the lead when he slammed home the rebound of Luca Sbisa’s shot less than 6 minutes into the game.

Anaheim made it 2-0 in the second when Selanne put a wrist shot on net and then followed his own rebound, swinging and missing with his backhand. But Visnovsky was right behind him, and he put it past Thomas.

Perry scored a short-handed goal to make it 3-0 with less than 5 minutes left in the second period, making a drag move in front of the net before beating Thomas on the stick side.

“It was kind of a weird game, from my perspective,” Thomas said. “Not a lot of action and then all of the sudden something funny will happen.”

The Bruins outshot Anaheim in every period — including 18-8 in the second — but still lost for the fourth time in five games. Boston beat Washington on Saturday to snap a season-high three-game losing streak.

“It’s been stale, our offense,” Savard said. “Claude’s trying. He can’t yell at us every single night. It’s on the guys in this room, too.”

NOTES: McMillan was sent down to Syracuse on Nov. 22 and recalled from the AHL two days later. … The Bruins have beaten Anaheim in regulation just once in their last nine games. … Anaheim D Andreas Lilja played in his 500th game, and Ryan Getzlaf played in game No. 400. … Ducks D Toni Lydman got hit in the face with a shot late in the first period, but he was back for the second. … Referee Dan O’Halloran was knocked to the ice when he got caught in the middle of a big Bruins hit. He was able to continue.

Panthers 5, Flyers 0

PHILADELPHIA — Tomas Vokoun earned his fourth shutout of the season and rookie Evgeny Dadonov had a goal and an assist to lead the Florida Panthers to an easy 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.

Bill Thomas, Shawn Matthias, Mike Santorelli and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for the Panthers, who won for the fifth time in seven games and stopped the NHL’s top team.

The Flyers lost in regulation for the first time since being shut out by Boston on Dec. 1, a rare hiccup during a month in which they had secured 15 of a possible 18 points through their previous nine games, streaking to a league-leading 22 wins and 49 points. Philadelphia entered having won seven of eight.

Vokoun’s fourth shutout tied him with Carey Price for third in the league, one behind Boston’s Tim Thomas and the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist. It was the 42nd shutout of Vokoun’s career, and his first against the Flyers in 17 starts.

Vokoun stopped 26 shots. Philadelphia had only 16 shots on goal through the first two periods.

In the team’s previous meeting this season, the Flyers cruised to a 5-2 win on Nov. 13, as Mike Richards and Claude Giroux each scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots.

Bobrovsky, a rookie, wasn’t anywhere near as effective Monday in just his second start in six games.

The Panthers scored twice in the final 2:33 of the opening period. Thomas scored first at 17:27, when his shot from below the right faceoff circle deflected off the left knee of Oskars Bartulis and over Bobrovsky’s shoulder.

Less than 2 minutes later, Dadonov scored on a breakaway, beating Bobrovsky to the left side.

Matthias made it 3-0 in the second period. Marty Reasoner’s shot hit the post and bounced to Matthias, who easily flipped it in the net. Bobrovsky’s night ended when Sean O’Donnell slipped collecting the puck in his own zone and Steve Bernier made a cross-ice pass to Santorelli, who fired a one-timer past Bobrovsky.

Bobrovsky stopped 18 of 22 shots. Kulikov scored the final goal against Brian Boucher with 8:25 left.

Florida, which has outscored its opponents 11-2 in the past two games, was coming off a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

NOTES: Reasoner has 150 career assists. … Philadelphia is 38-24-7-1 against the Panthers.

Thrashers 6, Maple Leafs 3

TORONTO — Tobias Enstrom had two goals and two assists, Fredrik Modin scored twice against his former team and the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Monday night.

Anthony Stewart also scored and Andrew Ladd had an empty-net goal for the Thrashers.

Atlanta moved past the Washington Capitals for first place in the Southeast Division. The surprising Thrashers have picked up at least a point in 14 of their last 16 games.

Mikhail Grabovski scored for the fourth game in a row as part of a brief third-period Maple Leafs rally that ultimately fell short.

John Mitchell and Nikolai Kulemin also scored for Toronto.

The Maple Leafs were back on home ice after a three-game swing through Western Canada in which they dropped the last two games to Calgary and Vancouver.

The return to the Air Canada Centre did little to reverse their fortunes as the Leafs found themselves in a two-goal hole before the game was 3 minutes old. By the final period, fans were calling for coach Ron Wilson to be fired.

Despite the fast start for Atlanta, the game remained close through the halfway point, with Mitchell scoring his first of the season on a second-period Toronto power play to cut the lead to 2-1. But Modin’s second of the game came with just 56 seconds remaining in the middle frame, restoring the two-goal lead.

Then things turned ugly for Toronto.

A turnover by Kulemin led to Stewart’s goal just more than 3 minutes into the third and Enstrom picked up his second less than a minute later when a weak shot from the point eluded Jonas Gustavsson.

That led to Wilson pulling Gustavsson, who was beaten five times on 18 shots, in favor of rookie James Reimer, while fans booed and chanted “Fire Wilson!”

Reimer stopped all four shots he faced in the first action of his NHL career.

The Maple Leafs provided a brief glimmer of hope when Grabovski and Kulemin scored power-play goals against Ondrej Pavelec just 15 seconds apart, but the comeback attempt ended with Ladd’s empty-netter.

Pavelec stopped 37 shots.

Modin opened the scoring when he was left all alone in front of Gustavsson, allowing him to tip home Ron Hainsey’s point shot.

The Thrashers’ second goal came 28 seconds later on the power play courtesy of Enstrom, who blasted home a cross-ice pass from Dustin Byfuglien at the blue line.

Byfuglien had a pair of assists, giving him 35 points on the season. After being moved to defense from forward following an offseason trade from Chicago, Byfuglien leads all NHL defensemen in scoring and is just one point off his single-season best.

NOTES: Tomas Kaberle got an assist on Mitchell’s goal for the 500th point of his career. … The Maple Leafs reassigned tough guy Jay Rosehill to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. … Brett Lebda, typically a defenseman, played left wing on the Maple Leafs’ fourth line. … Attendance was 19,301.

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