Ryan, Ducks hand Avalanche seventh straight loss

PA Stats Inc
The Hockey News

Ryan, Ducks hand Avalanche seventh straight loss

PA Stats Inc

ANAHEIM, California (AP) -- After getting off 54 shots only to
lose their previous game, the Anaheim Ducks figured they needed
to try something different.

They got the job done while taking 23 fewer shots against
Colorado, handing the Avalanche their seventh consecutive defeat
with a 4-1 victory.

"Everybody in the room realized we dropped one on Friday (a 5-3
loss to Edmonton) that we felt like we should have had and we
lost two valuable points," said Bobby Ryan, who scored twice in
the win over Colorado. "We had a day off to address it, and we
knew coming into this one that we had to get off to a good start
and come away with two before we go on the road for a couple of
tough games.

"We had to have a better presence in front of the goaltender.
Obviously, (Dwayne) Roloson on Friday night saw too many pucks
and was able to make 52 saves -- and 40 of them were pretty
easy. So getting in front of the goalie, jamming the sides of
the net and finding a way to score some ugly ones was important

The win gave the Ducks their first season sweep (4-0) of
Colorado, and kept Anaheim in the thick of the crowded race for
a Western Conference playoff berth. With six games left, Anaheim
is one point behind St. Louis for the eighth and last berth.

"We know every two points is incredibly valuable," said Ryan, a
rookie who posted his third multi-goal game of the season. "Look
around; other teams are winning as well, so it's important for
us to control our own fate and put another run together like we
did last week."

For Colorado, the losing streak is the franchise's longest since
they were the Quebec Nordiques and dropped eight in a row in

Jonas Hiller made 26 saves for Anaheim. He got the start after
Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed four goals on seven shots in the
loss to Edmonton before Hiller replaced him. The win was
Hiller's 19th, the same number Giguere has posted this season.

Hiller also made a "save" of sorts when he charged out to knock
the puck away and prevent a potential breakaway in the second
period, skating then sliding all the way to the blue line on the

"I saw that the puck was jumping over (Chris Pronger's) stick,
and they had a chance to go in 2-on-0," Hiller explained. "`So I
thought I might make it over there. And once you decide to go,
you have to go because if you back off, you're totally lost."

While Hiller was scrambling to get back, Pronger went to the
crease and blocked a Colorado shot.

"Prongs made a save for me, so I may have to buy him dinner or
something," Hiller said.

Said Pronger: "It was a great play by him. It was a situation
that he read right away and he started coming quickly. Wen I saw
him coming out, I was just trying to get in front of the guy
while we were chasing down the puck so that I could give Jonas a
chance to get there -- and then it's a matter of trying to get
out of the way so that you don't run your goalie over."

Colorado's Peter Budaj made 27 saves.

"We only played for two periods," Budaj said. "When you don't
play the whole 60 minutes, it's tough to win a the hockey game.
They have a good team."

Ryan gave Anaheim a 3-1 lead at 4:05 of the third when he beat
defenseman John-Michael Liles and Budaj the same way, by sliding
a 25-footer between the pads of both for 26th goal. Drew Miller
padded the lead to 4-1 when he scooped the puck into the net
during a scramble in the crease for his fourth goal.

Ryan's power-play goal at 4:13 of the second period snapped a
1-1 tie.

After the Ducks' Corey Perry opened the scoring at 12:50 of the
first period, Liles evened it on a power play at 16:39 of the


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Ryan, Ducks hand Avalanche seventh straight loss