Welcome back, Jonas Hiller.
The 31-year-old Anaheim Ducks goalie, who had been out of the lineup with a lower body injury since Feb. 8, made 27 saves in a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to mark his return to game action.
“We could have been down 4-0 after the first 10 minutes, but he kept us in there until we battled back,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told NHL.com.
“His athleticism was great. Some of the saves he made, he shouldn’t have made. But he did, and that was what we saw last year from January through March, and that’s what makes him a great goaltender.”
Since coming out of the lineup due to injury, Hiller has watched as NHL rookie Viktor Fasth, 30, won eight of his first nine games of the season.
“I’ve always said it’s nice to have a good backup … he gave me days to not feel rushed coming back,” Hiller told the L.A. Times.
“There’s some competition now. For sure, I want to play as much as possible, but as long as we’re winning … .”
Corey Perry scored the game-winning goal on a power play just before the midway point of the third period.
The Ducks have now five in a row and are two points back of the Chicago Blackhawks for top spot in the Western Conference.
Two injury updates in one post.
First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.
According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.
“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.
Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.
As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:
1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.
“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”
Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.
The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.
Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.
Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.
It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.
Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.
Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.
Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.
With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.
Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.
The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth after the 23-year-old completed his 14-day conditioning assignment.
Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around