Hiller, meanwhile, had won 13 games in a row, the first goalie to win that many consecutively since Chris Osgood turned the trick for the Detroit Red Wings in 1996. The NHL record for goalie wins is 14 in a row – shared by Tom Barrasso (Pittsburgh) in 1992-93 and Tiny Thompson (Boston) in 1929-30. The numbers overall are staggering: The Ducks came from behind to win in 10 of their 16 wins in the current streak and are 15-5-1 when allowing the first goal of the game. The Ducks have rallied from a deficit in 10 of 16 victories on their current 17-game streak. They are a league best 15-5-1 (.738 per cent) when allowing the first goal this season.
Team captain Ryan Getzlaf suffered an undisclosed lower-body injury vs. the Coyotes Saturday, but not before he’d scored his 23rd of the season and seventh game winner, which left him just two short of his career high of 25. Only linemate Corey Perry has more game-winning goals (eight) than Getzlaf in the NHL this season. Anaheim’s strong play shouldn’t probably be that much of a surprise – they were, after all, 30-12-6 last year during the lockout, but were upset in the first round by the Wings.
THE WEEKLY JAROMIR JAGR WATCH: The Devils have been dismal in the shootout this year – 0-6 – so they pulled out a win with two seconds to go in OT Saturday, with a set play off the faceoff, Jaromir Jagr chipping it back to Marek Zidlicky, Zidlicky getting a clean look to put a one-timer past Panthers’ goalie Tim Thomas. For Jagr, that was the 1,724th point of his NHL career, moving into seventh place on the all-time scoring list behind former teammate Mario Lemieux. At this current rate of production, Jagr also has a chance to become the seventh player in NHL history to score 700 goals – he is currently six shy and tied with Mark Messier at 694 on the all-time list. Jagr’s 33 career regular season OT points is second in history behind – surprisingly – injured Devils teammate Patrik Elias, who has 35.
THIS AND THAT: Shero couldn’t provide an update on Tomas Vokoun, who was supposed to be the Penguins’ backup this season and ended up starting 11 playoff games for them last year. Vokoun is out with a blood clot and his return seems murky at best. Either way, it looks as if the Penguins will put their trust in Marc-Andre Fleury again. Fleury is at 26 wins through 47 games and thus would need another 22 in the final 35 games to tie Martin Brodeur’s mark for the most regular-season wins in NHL history (48, established in 2006-07). Fleury’s career high is 42, set two years ago, and once again, the pressure will be on him to follow up a productive September-to-April, with a much improved playoff. Fleury had hoped that he might be in the mix for Canada’s Olympic goaltending trio, but the Penguins privately are probably pretty happy that considering the minutes he’s logging, and their hopes to go deep in this year’s playoffs, that he’s going to get much of February off.
AND FINALLY: There is a precedent for an NHL coaches to win the Jacks Adams coach of the year award after being a mid-season replacement. Boudreau did it in 2008, replacing Glen Hanlon, and Bill Barber did it in 2001, replacing Craig Ramsey with the Philadelphia Flyers. Could Craig Berube, the current Flyers’ coach, who took over from Peter Laviolette, manage the same trick? The Flyers were dead in the water when Berube took over, but have surged up to No. 2 in the admittedly weak Metropolitan Division. The Flyers loss to Tampa on Saturday snapped a 10-game home-ice winning streak, their first defeat since mid-November. Berube seems to have simplified the Flyers game; made a couple of tactical changes that have resulted in better balanced lines and probably benefited from the fact that Claude Giroux got healthy again.
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