Through two games this series, the Anaheim Ducks clearly needed to work on one thing: goaltending. Jonas Hiller had allowed six goals in two games to the Detroit Red Wings which had many people doubting if he’d be able to cut it between the pipes for the remainder of the series.
But Hiller isn’t a bad netminder, he’s the kind that recognizes mistakes and moves to correct them. Hiller was perfect on Saturday night, pitching a shut out against Detroit and helped the Ducks get a game up on he Red Wings after three games. But while the night was pleasant for Hiller, the same could not be said for Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard who was absolutely lit up by the Ducks offensive attack.
The game was pretty tight after two periods as the Ducks only had a 1-goal lead on the Wings. But thanks to goals by Ryan Getzlaf, Emerson Etem and Matt Beleskey which all came within the same ten minute span, Howard’s hole went from being a 1-goal deficit to a four goal blowout.
With the series now leaning in the favor of the Ducks, the momentum has shifted completely over to Anaheim. Detroit came into the game with the idea that they could get two games on home ice and head back to Anaheim with control of the series. But what wasn’t anticipated was the brilliant play of Jonas Hiller, which put a kink in the plans for the Red Wings.
But while the Ducks are up a game on the Wings, the momentum can shift at any moment. If one thing has been determined its that this series hinges on goaltending perhaps more so than the other games. We saw how easily a good game from Hiller can cancel out a bad one, and vice versa for Howard. The question now is, what happens when both goalies show up on the same night?