If Jonas Hiller manages to foil his former team in the Anaheim Ducks, that bit of revenge won’t come with the Calgary Flames in Game 1.
For the second straight game, the Swiss-born goalie didn’t avoid the hook very long, as he was replaced by Karri Ramo after the Ducks took a 3-0 lead. Hiller at least made it through more game time tonight, as he was pulled 22:13 in after allowing three goals on 14 shots after not even making it through eight minutes of Game 7.
Flames fans can at least keep a little hope alive in remembering that their team seems to play best with its collective backs against the wall, as they did last time Hiller didn’t make it through a full contest.
Here’s the Perry goal that ended Hiller’s night early:
That’s about the only positive spin Calgary can put on another shaky start, though.
A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Capitals at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
For the fourth time in five years and fifth time in seven the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are meeting in the playoffs. The last two playoff meetings between the clubs have gone seven games with the Rangers winning both. The Rangers won three of four meetings between the two teams during the regular season. John Forslund and Pierre McGuire have the call of Game 1 from Madison Square Garden.
Flames at Ducks, 10:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The Anaheim Ducks are looking to avoid another second round loss as they play host to the Calgary Flames in Game 1 tonight. The L.A. Kings bounced the Ducks from last spring’s playoffs in seven games. Meanwhile the Flames are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004 when they came one win shy of capturing the franchise’s second Stanley Cup. Jonas Hiller, who spent parts of seven seasons with the Ducks, will be Calgary’s Game 1 starter. Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will be on the call from the Honda Center.
Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller said he wants “nothing more” than to show his former team “made a mistake” in getting rid of him.
And now, the Flames will oblige.
On Monday, head coach Bob Hartley confirmed that Hiller would be the Game 1 starter when the Flames open their second round series against Anaheim — the team that Hiller spent the first seven years of his NHL career with, before being allowed to walk last summer in free agency.
The questions about Hiller’s starting status came after Calgary’s series-clinching win over Vancouver in Game 6. The Swiss ‘tender was hooked after allowing two goals on three shots in the first eight minutes of action, and Karri Ramo played very well in relief, stopping 17 of 19 shots.
(Hartley later said he apologized to Hiller for the hook in front of the entire Flames team.)
Game 6 wasn’t Ramo’s only action of the series. The Finn also got a brief appearance in a Game 2 loss in Vancouver, making a pair of stops in just under five minutes of action.
The Flames employed a goalie timeshare this season, with Hiller starting 44 games to Ramo’s 32 (Joni Ortio got six.) That’s another reason why Hartley was asked about his starter for the Anaheim series; while he made a pretty definitive statement that Hiller is the No. 1, he also acknowledged he’s more than willing to turn to Ramo if need be.
“I’m very conformable with both goalies,” he said.