ANAHEIM (CBS / AP) — Jonas Hiller made 31 saves in his 12th career shutout, Maxime Macenauer scored his first NHL goal, and Anaheim beat the San Jose Sharks 1-0 Friday night in the Ducks’ home opener.
Hiller is finally healthy after an apparent case of vertigo ruined last season. He was back in All-Star form in his first home start in nearly nine months, stopping 11 shots in the final period against the Ducks’ Pacific Division rivals.
Thomas Greiss stopped 22 shots for the Sharks, who had five days off after beating Phoenix in their home opener.
The Ducks are back from a full week off after returning from Europe, where they split two regular-season games and played an exhibition against Jokerit, the Finnish club that once employed Teemu Selanne.
Hiller gave a flawless performance in his first start at Honda Center since Feb. 2. The Swiss All-Star gave up three goals to the Sharks before getting pulled in the first period of that game, struggling to see the puck while battling a curious perception problem eventually diagnosed as vertigo.
Hiller played just 83 minutes after the All-Star break, but a summer of rest and rehabilitation in Switzerland have made him cautiously confident he’s back to normal.
The Sharks are believers after Hiller stopped everything they tried, including two point-blank chances in the final minutes.
The Ducks are 2-1-0 despite scoring just three goals this season, and Anaheim’s stars haven’t yet emerged. MVP Corey Perry, the NHL’s leading goal-scorer last season, and linemates Bobby Ryan and captain Ryan Getzlaf are all scoreless in three games. So are Selanne and his center, Saku Koivu.
Greiss nearly matched Hiller’s effort, capitalizing on an opportunity to play for the Sharks while Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki are both out with injuries. Greiss, a longtime Sharks farmhand from Germany, spent last season on loan in Sweden.
Anaheim scored just 14 minutes in when Macenauer charged the net and popped home a pass from enforcer George Parros for a goal in just his third NHL game.
Macenauer was among the final cuts from Anaheim’s roster last season, and the 22-year-old center earned a fourth-line role with a strong training camp.
NOTES: D Toni Lydman returned to the Ducks’ blue line after missing Anaheim’s entire training camp and the first two games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. … Sharks F Martin Havlat still hasn’t played for his new club while recovering from a shoulder injury. Niemi made the trip, but backed up Greiss while recovering from having a cyst removed.
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